With the "fast 5" that Brian at the mid-station reported early Friday (add additional inches to that as the day progressed), Mad River has blown through its snow totals from 2015-2016. What a spectacular week and a winter that has turned out to be incredibly shaped by elevation. Low lying areas haven't performed particularly well, failing to receive the orographic enhanced snowfall and not performing particularly well on the few winter storms the region has seen. The high country, particularly in northern Vermont has done quite well and is on track for a decent winter. We need to freeze and provide some cover for some of those backcountry brooks but I went into this season as a beggar so I won't be a chooser.
With some additional snow expected Friday evening, Saturday is shaping to be another fantastic one. Imagine that, two Saturday's in a row ! I nearly broke down and referred to last Saturday's powder fest as an "Alt-Saturday" but lets not go down that road. Saturday we can expect some flurries but high pressure is likely to prevent additional big accumulations although I am sure there will be plenty of stashes. Sunday may feature some early peaks of sunshine but clouds should overspread the region and some light snow should begin following by evening. This storm is looking less and less impressive with time and I am doubtful now that it will produce a big powder day Monday. A fluffy 1-2 inches might be the best we can do. Temperatures will be chilly this weekend but generally seasonable with teens expected Saturday and 20's Sunday. Neither day is expected to be especially windy.
Our Tuesday/Wednesday event is the biggest storm on the forecast horizon right now. Models have shifted the track of this storm just slightly north again with a track that has much of its energy consolidating over the Central Plains late Monday and heading to southern Michigan Tuesday and ultimately up into the St Lawrence Valley or perhaps even north of there. Monday's weak-sauce of a storm will bring a small reinforcing shot of cold prior to the arrival of the bigger system but we still need some help on the storm track. We remain in the game for this, if the storm tracks over northern New England as opposed to Quebec it could transfer its energy to the Atlantic and save us from any melting. Even without such a track, Tuesday is likely going to be powdery. A nice zone of overrunning moisture should provide for a good period of snow that begins early in the ski day Tuesday and persists into the evening. It's early to make a call on how much but I would expect a few powdery inches at least. Wednesday is the tricky one. The storm could pull mild air into parts of the lower atmosphere and change precipitation to an icy mixture early in the day followed by a period of above freezing temperatures and rain. This forecast isn't etched in stone and don't count out the notion of some good news regarding this forecast situation. Even with a less than ideal track, models suggest the possibility for more terrain induced snowfall Thursday which we hope will start another ideal period.
The situation with the jet stream in the Pacific is not ideal in the longer range. Much of the storminess will actually focus on the mid-latitude Pacific for a time and although I would not necessarily prefer this, it isn't an evil empire. In addition we do have friends ! We have the support of the PNA index and some tepid support from the NAO and AO. The energy in the Pacific will likely prevent bone-chilling cold from gripping the eastern part of North America in the period starting February 10th but it doesn't look especially mild either and New England looks to be in a well-positioned area for another long stretch of winter. A little split-flow and some subtropical moisture could go a long way as far as increasing our prospects for a big winter storm. That isn't shown right now but I wouldn't completely rule it out (long range forecasts do have some accuracy issues, imagine that ! ). Models at face value do show some additional chances for snowfall leading up to the Presidents Day holiday though and my guess is for another generally productive period between February 9th and 17th.