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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Some extreme March chill this weekend is followed by big snow potential Tues March 14th

Another day passes with the Single Chair sitting idle yet the forecast continues to look more and more wintry as we head further and further into March. Fortunately we have finally reached a point where we can talk more specifically about new snow rather than wonder about the "if" and "when" of such an occurrence.

The mixed precipitation Wednesday will change to snowfall with temperatures hovering just below the freezing mark through much of Wednesday night and Thursday. The snowfall will be of the terrain enhanced upslope variety and should amount to 3-5 inches by late in the day with more falling north of I89. Valley locations should see warmer temperatures and considerably less if not any snowfall. We also have a polar vortex to talk about. Though discussed in the last update, we haven't used such words in a while. This PV will track from the lower Hudson Bay to northern Maine by Saturday. Extreme chill will accompany this feature and begin its infiltration of Vermont on Friday. Models are somewhat split on whether there is enough support for accumulating snow as the arctic air arrives Friday. A storm system that is poised to bring rain and snow to Pennsylvania and New Jersey might rob northern New England of its upward motion but for now I am going to suggest an additional 1-2 inches Friday with temperatures plummeting through the 20's. Our upcoming weekend looks devoid of snowfall but extremely cold for mid-March. Temperatures will struggle to reach 10 on the mountains Saturday and after readings of -5 to -10 Sunday morning, afternoon readings will struggle to reach 15 in spite of full sunshine.

The intensity of the chill will relax just somewhat on Monday but by then we will be watching what appears to be a sizable winter storm. This folks, is our best shot at big snow since the middle of February and it could prove to be one of the biggest winter storms for the entirety of New England spanning the whole season. Cold air, jet energy and a plethora of Atlantic moisture are all present, but we just have to hope that Vermont get a full dose of the results. We could get innocuously grazed or we could get the 2-footer we've been looking for. Right now, confidence is high that a strong low pressure center will be in the vicinity of Cape Cod on Tuesday evening March 14th but it all depends on how close this system is to the coast once it consolidates. Most of the potential snowfall would fall Tuesday in such a scenario.

More cold weather is expected in the days following the potential storm and when the cold weather relaxes somewhat toward St Patrick's Day and the weekend of the 18th and 19th smaller amounts of snow are possible from what is likely to be overrunning. The jet stream in the Pacific is expected to remain dominated by relative looseness which is good news in the longer range. Some indications of the Bering Sea block remain which is a big driver of this. I would expect a move toward milder temperatures around the time frame of the 19th and 20th but this will be followed by another period of cold weather that should be accompanied by more snowfall.


Rico drummerman said...

Yes you certainly wouldn't want to be throwing in the towel yet, based on how last year ended. Obviously that wonderful base we had 2-3 weeks ago is for the most part gone, but - best skiing of the year last season by far (for this n'ern VT skier) was early to mid april powder days - in fact closest to actual "powder" experience was 4/9/16 at a closed resort. Go figure. If the remainder of this year goes like last year's did, then we still legitimately have a one month window moving forward for more storms. Our base has really taken a hit, but there's still hope...

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