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Sunday, January 7, 2018

As the cold retreats, the outlook appears less than desirable but some potential remains for the upcoming weekend

The extreme cold is finally relenting and it was hoped this would yield to the right kind of storminess. We do have an interesting potential scenario this weekend but honestly I can't say this was the transition I was hoping for, at least as it looks now. We have some snow in the real short term to enjoy. By the this gets read by most (tomorrow morning), we should have 1-3 inches of snow on the ground. Later Monday, another disorganized area of snow should bring an additional 1- 3 inches. This is not a very imposing clipper system but it has some similarities to the event which brought the 6-12 to the high country north of I 89 ( Stowe, Smuggs & Jay) a few days ago so I wouldn't be surprised to see a localized area with more while other areas underperform.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday look especially comfortable days relative to the recent stretch of weather. The extreme arctic cold will have retreated and after some morning clouds and flurries, afternoon sunshine will push temperatures toward the 30 degree mark. Wednesday will feature even more sunshine, calm winds and temperatures near the freezing mark. Great day to hit the slopes before we get gut punched.

This initial surge of warm weather I have taken particular exception to. We have a terrific accumulation of arctic cold weather in Canada and a series of teleconnection indices that are not especially unfavorable, yet a series of unfortunate events may bring temperatures well into the 40's by late in the week, accompanied by a significant round of rain and snowpack eating wind. I am just begging the storm system in question to break up, but it seems intent on bringing excessively mild air into New England. There are some recent signs of a split and this would set up a somewhat more interesting series of events by the weekend. The initial surface wave seems like a lost cause, it will head into southern Canada and bring a round of warm weather and rain to the region Thursday into Friday. The timing on the rain appears to be Thursday night or Friday morning. Arctic cold will then try and heroically make a southward push and re establish a tenuous grip on the region during the weekend while the 2nd more potent system approaches. This 2nd storm is stronger and may get an added stimulant from a digging jet stream. There are questions relating to the timing of the jet reorientation and models are thus all over the place on the outcome but significant precipitation is likely for the upcoming weekend, we just don't know what kind yet.  Canadian and American ensembles are bullish on the possibility of significant snow, Euro and its ensembles seem to be in the rain to limited snow camp. We should have it sorted out within a day or two.

In the wake of whatever kind of storm we get, cold weather will burst on the scene Sunday and Monday (Jan 14th -15th)  and should be accompanied by some snowfall. The snow could come as a result of the terrain/lake enhanced stuff or from a clipper system advancing through the region early next week. The cold air is not expected to grip the region for long however and you can thank our evil empire in the Pacific for that. Whether this amounts to a significant January thaw or another day or two above freezing remains to be seen, but we need the massive ridge in the central Pacific to break down quickly to avoid significant damage between the 18th and the 22nd of the month. If you follow the weather more avidly, you might be familiar with the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) which describes, in phases, the cyclic nature of convective activity in the Pacific. This activity has the capability of impacting the evil empire which is why forecasters focus their attention on it. The MJO is expected to stall in the less than favorable phase 3 territory which may be why the potential round of mild weather appears so ominous. Fortunately, these long range forecasts don't always work out. No, it doesn't look great now but lets keep revisiting the question as time advances. 


Christopher Campanella said...

Worth skiing on Sunday/Monday or is it going to be pure ice?

Dan Feller said...

Thanks Josh! You're the man


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