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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Powdery Thursday and a slightly improved longer range outlook in spite of some milder weather

The Manitoba Mauler has spread very light snow into Vermont as of Wednesday afternoon. Models have finally forged a truce on this storm after arguing for days over subtle nuances. The bulk of the snow falls this evening, tonight and early Thursday as the system becomes better organized and strengthens into a poor man's nor'easter. Terrain will provide some assistance to snowfall totals as well, so I continue to expect some healthy 6-12 inch accumulations at MRG and some fantastic skiing on the mountain Thursday and Friday. The added snow Wednesday night and Thursday will pull the cumulative 3-week total to over 5 feet. Yeah we've had some mixed precipitation and ice in between but it's been an outstanding stretch.

Adversity is never far away in many Vermont winters and unfortunately a little bit of that confronts us now for the upcoming holiday week. Temperatures on Saturday will start in the single numbers but the higher angled February sun and a push of mild air will move temperatures toward the freezing mark. On Sunday, much of the day will feature above freezing temperatures but fortunately no rain.

A series of powerful Pacific weather systems is largely responsible for the milder temperatures in Vermont. Yet again however, interior New England is going to avoid the unmitigated blowtorch and the record-breaking warmth which has impacted a good portion of the central and eastern United States both last month and early this February. After Sunday, the jet stream will provide the region with just enough of a northwest to southeast trajectory to keep temperatures at least somewhat winter-like. By that I mean, low temperatures in the 20's and high temperatures Monday and Tuesday in the 30's. A couple of blog posts have highlighted the possibility of an intense mid to late week storm and that part of the outlook needs to be adjusted somewhat. One to two smaller pieces of some of the Pacific storminess will head towards New England Tuesday and spread a variety of precipitation types. The Euro has hinted that some of this could be snow while other models paint a somewhat rainier or icier scenario.

The possibility of a bigger storm has been pushed back toward later in the week and into the weekend. Any such storm would encounter the same challenges from a snow standpoint. There is no available cold air through the middle to late week period. That said, the jet stream in the Pacific will quiet down and allow this storm to pull in some colder temperatures and certainly allows for the possibility of a rain to snow  or a mixed precipitation to snow scenario over the weekend period of Friday February 24th to Sunday February 26th. For you model watchers out there, I know there have been some warmer scenarios shown with this storm but I would not give up on it, there is certainly a chance for a decent hit across interior New England by the end of the last weekend in February.

The longer range outlook has continued its tradition of oscillating back and forth beyond 12 days. It didn't look particularly great two days ago, it looks much better today beyond February 26th. Both ensembles have trended toward a much more negative EPO toward the end of the month which allows for the southward migration of cold toward the mid-attitudes.  All of this is vital as we move toward March and try to keep winter in play for as long as possible. 


billski said...

The northeast ski areas need a new business model to cope with this incessant oscillation between freezer, snow, blowtorch, rain, freezer, snow, blowtorch, rain...

Maybe you should have ticket pricing based on snowfall. The closer you book/buy to a northeaster, the higher the price. Now liftopia does that today, but it's only baseed on proximity to ticket date. You still maintain a floor ticket price.

Something for me to ponder as I repack my bag for another powder day.

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