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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Colder outlook for interior New England over the next 10 days ensures snow will stick around until early April

Bitterly cold temperatures and up to 6 inches of fresh pow greeted skiers on the mountain Wednesday. The latest blast of chill sent temperatures in to the single digits within a few hours and this would be cold by January standards. For cold weather lovers, enjoy it, because this is likely to be the last healthy blast of mid-winter-like chill we'll see until next year. Make no mistake, the outlook into next week looks quite a bit colder today but the jet stream will assume a more spring-like appearance and the weather map will be devoid of the bursts of arctic cold that have so characterized the current month of March. This is not to say we won't see more snowfall, we likely will, but with temperatures substantially closer to the freezing mark.

Readings Thursday morning will hover around zero for what will probably be the last time until next ski season. Bright March sunshine will go to work and will help make for a comfortable winter afternoon with temperatures in the 20's and minimal amounts of wind. More clouds are expected Friday and temperatures will quickly warm toward the freezing mark. Precipitation is expected to arrive by midday and although a brief 1-2 hour period of snow is likely at the start, rain and a few pockets of freezing rain should prevail through much of the afternoon and into the early evening.

There was talk mostly yesterday on Twitter of some snow across parts of interior New England this weekend and some of this was justified even if it wasn't entirely likely across a widespread area. The jet stream will produce a nice confluence area in eastern Canada even as the polar jet is receding. Such a feature allows healthy pool of arctic cold to establish itself across Quebec and this airmass will provide some serious resistance against the encroaching milder spring weather. Just as the mild weather begins overtaking Vermont and New Hampshire late Friday, the cold from Quebec will reassert itself by later Saturday. Though it wouldn't be impossible, snowfall doesn't appear likely. The aforementioned airmass will dry it out late on Saturday and send temperatures below freezing again Saturday night but a better organized weather system that appears well-supplied with moisture will approach on Sunday and although the forecast appears colder, it probably won't be cold enough. Freezing rain or sleet would be my guess right now, beginning Sunday and persisting in some fashion through Sunday night. Though appearing more to be a travel head-ache than a big powder producer, this storm should be watched as the situation as already evolved quite a bit from a few days ago.

The storminess is expected to continue into next week and although the jet stream, as mentioned, will appear more spring-like, the cold centered in eastern Canada will be hard-pressed to give ground. The outlook thus looks substantially colder and likely devoid of 50-degree temperatures. The weather map will look messy also and models have struggled to reach an agreement of the specifics of precipitation. Expect lots of clouds early in the week and poor visibility with temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark. A more organized area of precipitation is likely to impact the region during the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame although this could change. The most intriguing part this potential storm system are the hints that a "4th quarter" jet amplification across eastern New England brings the possibility of significant snowfall into play in a week where a few days ago, this appeared completely unlikely. If this does happen, it won't be especially cold with temperatures in the 20's and low 30's but again, certainly no 50. At the very least, it ensures that the recent big snowfall will stick around until early April.


Will Phelps said...

All weather forecasts have rain in the forecast for later this afternoon/tonight, even though it says it's going to be in the low-30s. Will the summit of MRG and Sugarbush see snow or rain?



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