It's no April Fools joke though it would might make for a good one. A March that started with excessive 60-degree warmth will finish with snowfall. Above 3,000 feet, the snow consistency might even be more powdery than wet although this remains a close call. Since last we spoke, indications are that the storm in question will track closer to the Mason-Dixon line as opposed to the Delmarva Peninsula. This places Vermont in a decidedly better place for moisture which should arrive during the morning hours Friday. Temperatures will be in the marginal category throughout the duration of this storm and will likely hover above the freezing mark in the valley locations which include a chunk of the Rte 100 corridor and the Champlain Valley. The MRG base should see temperatures at or just below the freezing mark while readings at the summit will in the high 20's. The heaviest snow is indicated to fall during the evening hours Friday and although snowfall rates will lessen after midnight, the snow itself should continue into Saturday morning. Those looking for those first April tracks Saturday have the best chance at finding the high elevation powder, 8-12 inches of it in fact above the mid-station. Closer to the base, I would expect a 4-8 inch range and a considerably wetter snow consistency. Saturday's temps will likely cross the freezing threshold at the base and may approach that mark higher up the mountain so the powdery stuff could turn wetter as the day moves along.
The outlook beyond Saturday has shifted decisively to the colder side. Though we are not expecting weather conditions to be particularly anomalous, the outlook from a few days ago did suggest a period of warmer weather and even some rain during the middle of next week. Models have taken all of that weather and pushed it south and with pretty good agreement. Weak Canadian high pressure will thus build across the region after the snow tapers off on Saturday and ensure that almost all of our overnight during the first 5 or so days of April are below freezing. Daytime temperatures, thanks to the rising April sun angle, are likely to reach the 40's Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I might point out that there are indications of another notable east coast system that is now indicated impact areas south of Vermont Tuesday but this remains a week away and indications can change. Atmospheric conditions (at least at the tropospheric level) will be at their warmest during the middle of the week so I am fine with a "miss" on the aforementioned storm; in addition, there is plenty of intrigue for the end of the week when the set up is considerably better.
At jet stream level, there is some substantial ridging that is expected to develop late next week across Alaska and the Yukon territory of Canada. Underneath all of this, storminess will continue to cross the country and keep the weather across the United States very active from coast to coast. There's quite a bit of fun that can emerge in this type of set up across New England and the period surrounding April 6th and 7th is one that we should watch closely. A little spark from what's left of the polar jet and we could talking about another mammoth east coast system and more Vermont snow. Hey when the pattern produces, it produces, and though it might have been better served in late February, I'll take it anyway I can get it.
I'll finish with a rant directed at the proverbial toxic stink that has enveloped much of our elected US government and specifically the group that has over generously anointed themselves the "House Committee on Science, Space and Technology". These folks had a hearing on Wednesday, March 29th where the apparent plan was to hijack the overwhelmingly accepted consensus on climate science and make its defacto leader, Dr Michael Mann, look like a jackass. Dr Mann, agree with him or not, comes prepared and is generally ready for attacks from all directions and he got them from the assortment of climate science skeptics that the committee selectively invited. Dr Mann represented himself well and his arguments were well supported but I can't emphasize enough what a dog and pony show this turned into. Just imagine if a John Q Weather Forecasting Blogger such as myself examining forecast data, 97 percent of which indicated "partly cloudy", decided to spend 4 paragraphs talking about a 10-plus inches of snow that 3 percent of the forecast data is showing. I guarantee a few readers would fall in love with me for telling them what they wanted to hear, but ultimately the entire community would and should wish me to crawl under a rock and render me quite delusional. One of so-called skeptics, Dr Judith Curry waxed poetic about being persecuted for having a minority opinion. Really ? Playing the victim card while a group of political shills is hailing you as a hero because your telling them what they want to hear. Roger Pielke Jr has been at odds with Dr Mann for years as to some of the byproducts of AGW but even he advised lawmakers to form policy before a 100 percent consensus was reached. As for Dr. Curry, her minority opinion should not persecuted, but an honest cross section of scientists represented should include the likes of her, Dr Pielke and 97 other scientists that accept the general consensus that human activity HAS had a material impact on our climate and has caused changes the likes of which we have never over such a short geological time scale; furthermore, if steps are not taken to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, warming has the potential to have drastic consequences on human life several generations down the road. As for this generation, our legacy is decided now, I'd hate to think we would get remembered for what took place today. And with that, THINK SNOW !