There's a scene I remember from the first Lord Of The Rings movie where Gandalf is explaining the Ring of Power to Frodo. The line goes something like this - "The Ring is always trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found !! Though certainly implying nothing sinister, this is more or less how I view the relationship many east coast storms have with the Atlantic coastline. Storms want to track along the coastline, they want to be found. There's lots of physics behind this but I prefer the Lord of the Rings analogy on the blog and leave it at that. It's upgrade time !
The expected track of the storm has shifted and it could shift even further given the time left before verification and the difficulties models are having dealing with the subtropical moisture and the area of low pressure that is expected to form out of that moisture. The storm was expected to track 100 miles or more east of Cape Cod, now there are indications that it will track roughly 50 miles east of the Cape. It's possible, that by tomorrow, the storm could be tracking right over the Cape. It's an old fashion "humdinger" also, causing severe winds, power outages and maybe some coastal flooding in certain areas. For Mad River Glen, the result is snow. Perhaps we aren't in the best conveyor of snow but I wouldn't discount any possibility given the way the situation is evolving. Snow should begin in the midday hours Thursday, get rather intense for a few hours in the evening and taper to light snow by Friday morning. Even if we don't get into some of the deep moisture, we will certainly get into the big winds. Ferocious !! Especially Thursday evening and night. If the snow was wet, we would have power outages. Of course, it won't be with temperatures around 10 degrees. Snow will be wind blown but accumulations will range between 6-16 inches. This is a rough guess and perhaps on the low side given the trend. If the storm decides to track west of the Cape, we will be looking at a 20 incher.
A massive area of cold will get pile driven into New England in the wake of this monster storm as expected. Though I do expect flurries or light snow throughout the day Friday we are still dealing with some very shallow, stable cold which prohibits the big upslope snow accumulations. We may see an additional inch or two but of greater note will be the wind-driven nature of the snow accumulations given the blustery conditions. Good opportunity to find that favorite spot in the woods and stay warm, with temperatures hovering slightly below zero.
Upcoming weekend consists of a totally sub-zero Saturday with readings starting near -20 and only climbing to -10, a somewhat sub-zero Sunday with readings starting near -20 and perhaps rising to 5. Sunday will be the calm day with some sunshine to start and some clouds to finish. The clouds arrive in advance of our next weather system which to the naked eye looks somewhat innocent but is full of moisture. Unfortunately, it's full of a big push of mild air with just some minimal push-back from the retreating cold. We should see some snow to start and perhaps some snow to finish and perhaps some ice in between or perhaps not. No place can do -20 to rain (in this case freezing rain) quite like interior New England and Monday and Monday night might be another such instance. That said, we should see accumulating snow as well and it's not a given we see the ice, just possible.
An area of cold will re establish itself over New England later in the week and there is an opportunity for some snow as this is happening either Tuesday or Wednesday. Beyond that however there are glaring signs of a massive warm-up across the United States. New England is on the edge of this and is also on the edge of what should be a lingering area of cold in eastern Canada. I am not going to lie, we will probably get at least a 1-2 day thaw out of this but hopefully its just 1-2 days.
Should be a fun storm though even if it is only 8 inches and obviously it could be more.