Temperatures are 40 degrees lower, snow squalls have dusted the mountainsides and gusty winds have wind chill readings Thursday below zero. That's all well and good but the mountain has been so ravaged by the excessive warmth, it will take another real good stretch of snow for us to extend our season significantly from this point. There are some improvements fundamentally in our weather pattern, but unfortunately, these improvements might not be enough given our current predicament.
I literally have hardly any good news to report over the next week days regarding our snow prospects. Every chance we have or had at receiving new snow looks diminished or even non-existent. It certainly resembles the many blog posts from the SCWB during last years abomination. Sugarcoating a crappy situation is not part of the Mad River Glen tradition so although I would prefer a more optimistic tone, it would be disingenuous to do so in regards to the weather through the middle of next week. Very frustrating.
It's unfortunate because we have some rather extreme early March chill headed in our direction. Readings will struggle to break 20 on the mountain Friday and a shortwave disturbance passing to our south will usher in temperatures that are even colder Friday night and Saturday. 1-2 inches of snow is likely Friday night into very early Saturday but the story for the most part will be the extreme chill including temperatures near -5 Saturday morning and only 5-10 above through much of the afternoon in spite of some sunshine.
The situation starts to take a sour turn on Sunday. The conventional wisdom that I tried to establish in the last update consisted of multiple pieces of the storminess in British Columbia attacking New England over the span of several days. The first small piece would reach the region late Sunday or early Monday resulting in a modest snowfall but models have decisively removed this from the weather picture and it would be unwise to not heed this consensus. A period of light snow is possible early Monday but it doesn't look like much; instead, a more consolidated system will move out into the northern plains and advance northeast well into Canada. In spite of the newly available cold, it's hard to make light of a storm which seems intent on moving straight toward the southern tip of the Hudson Bay. Unless we see some drastic changes, we will see another round of mild weather beginning Tuesday and rain Tuesday night or early Wednesday. What is especially frustrating is that the flatter, less intense and occluded storm would have at least presented the opportunity for terrain enhanced snowfall late in the week. Flush this opportunity straight down the toilet if aforementioned scenario plays out. Colder weather and snowfall is still part of the forecast picture Thursday and Friday, but significant amounts of snow look a lot less likely.
Ensembles have been battling it out over the longer range outlook for a few days but they seemed to have converged on a slightly more favorable scenario for later in the month. The Bering Sea block has been mentioned a few times as a driver of the cold and a key feature for March. Yes, it has effectively pushed cold air back into the mid-latitudes but because the feature was confined to the Bering Sea and did not extend its influence to include Alaska, it has also confined much of the cold and storminess to western North America yet again.