We've reached the end of January and the "encrusted" snow conditions. We will begin to add snow somewhat slowly at first but there's so much potential in the upcoming pattern that it will be difficult to imagine anything but substantial improvements within a week. Some light snow Wednesday night and early Thursday will become somewhat gloppy in the valley areas and won't amount to much anyway. The high country can squeeze out about an inch or two before temperatures take a run at the freezing mark during the afternoon. Additional snow arrives along with an arctic boundary Thursday evening and night. We should see some enhancement from Lake Champlain which will help the high country score an additional 1-3 inches prior to Friday morning. I was hoping to promise a bit more but the sub-tropical connection looks weaker today and the weather system appears disorganized and will be overwhelmed by the incoming arctic cold.
The upcoming burst of arctic chill will send temperatures plummeting to near 10 degrees Friday and then below zero Friday night. Aside from morning snow showers and flurries, later Friday, Friday night and Saturday will be rather dry. We finally get to add a little more intrigue into the outlook Saturday night into Sunday. The remnants of a rather energetic Pacific Northwest pattern will advance eastward with limited amounts of moisture. As it arrives with its light snow Saturday night, more moisture is expected to gather along the Gulf Coast and allow a separate weather system to take shape in the eastern Caralinas on Sunday. Now we have been teased with southern branch moisture on a few occasions the last several weeks and with a now weakened La Nina, such events are a bit more likely. So far however, they've generally been a fail, but it would sure be nice if this one were not. This storm is expected to strengthen some and move up the coast into some weakening cold air. It looks primarily like a rain/sleet event along the coast but Vermont is positioned to score decent snow if the moisture moves north as models indicate and the track of the storm is west of Provincetown out on the Cape. I am not entirely convinced we can pull off the big event yet but the two things to keep in mind are 1) This is the best chance we've had at decent snow in several weeks 2) We are very likely to get at least some Saturday night and Sunday regardless of what happens later Sunday into Monday.
The light snow Saturday night and the possibility of more significant snow later Sunday into Monday marks the first of what I think will be many chances for powder in a much improved weather pattern. The weakened jet in the Pacific combined with the large ridge extending northward through Alaska will allow the vortex of cold weather to advance southward into Canada. The cold is not indicated to overwhelm the entire pattern as it did over the holiday into the early part of January. We will flirt with danger once or twice but for really good Vermont snow it's kind of necessary. The middle of next week, around the time frame of February 7th and 8th marks one such case since it involves a push of milder weather. Doesn't appear likely however that the mild air will continue its pillage into Vermont; instead, we should get some additional snow and quite possibly a significant amount.
Arctic air will be re enforced around the time of February 9th, giving the end of the week and the subsequent weekend a rather chilly outlook. At least one clipper system should bring the region more snow around the time of February 10th and 11th (the 2nd full weekend in February). A similar theme applies to the week leading up to the President's Day holiday. The vortex of cold weather appears farther north but the pattern still looks promising with the jet stream taking on a more traditional positive PNA shape. A block in the jet stream is likely to take up a position somewhere between Alaska and the North Pole. Where in this range it decides to land will ultimately determine how cold it gets and where the storm track will set up. Right now it looks like Vermont is positioned to do as well as about anywhere in the country.