We had a storm back in the middle of December that delivered just over a foot to many of the ski areas in northern Vermont. Aside from perhaps that, the upcoming snow expected for Wednesday and Wednesday evening will be the best dose of the year so far. There is nothing especially noteworthy about the storm, it looks like a very average front loaded over-runner, but the expected track up through northwest Connecticut and eastern Massachusetts is about as good as it gets for Vermont snowfall; in addition, the region has a history of performing quite well in these setups. The snow should start rather early Wednesday, like around 9 or 10 am, accumulate 1-2 inches by early afternoon and 3-5 inches by lift closing time. Snow will continue well into the evening and taper off to flurries well before dawn arrives Thursday. Total storm accumulations will be in the 8-14 inch category and temperatures will generally be in the teens while snow is falling. Flurries will and even a few snow showers will continue for a good part of Thursday along with a stiff west or northwest wind. Combined with temperatures between 10 and 18, wind chill readings will be a shade below zero but we've seen much, much worse this year.
Moving along, we have an interesting situation brewing for the weekend. With each passing storm, it appears as if the subtropics are willing to provide more and more moisture and such will be the case this weekend. Though we'll have a healthy amount of cold air in place to start the weekend, the chill will loosen its grip on the region as we advance from Saturday to Sunday and will create a rather tenuous situation by Sunday. In spite of all this, this will likely be the best skiing weekend so far this year in Vermont. The storm in question has lots of the aforementioned moisture to work with and should come at us in a few waves. Overrunning precipitation in the form of snow could arrive as early as Friday evening and should provide much of Vermont with powdery snow by first tracks time Saturday. Snow might be on the lighter side but could continue through at least part of Saturday. Atop the snowfall this week, it could make for an awesome day on the hill. A more significant area of low pressure will then get organized and take a run at the region Saturday night. It will bring a stronger push of milder air with it and is likely to bring more snow which could change to sleet or freezing rain. The track of this storm remains a question however and the door is open for a shift that could lead to an epic weekend of snowfall or a change to a brief period of rain. Above freezing temps, were they to occur, are likely to be a problem later in the day Sunday. Again, the weekend as a whole looks pretty good and still has a chance at greatness with a little help.
What doesn't appear great is the continued warming trend the longer range ensembles keep displaying around the middle part of next week (Feb 13th to Feb 15th). The weekend storm will be followed by a temporary push of arctic chill and perhaps some snow showers on Monday. By Tuesday, milder temperatures are expected to overtake a large expanse of the eastern U.S. and continue to push northward on Wednesday, February 14th. All of this is in response to a jet stream that looks a lot tighter in the Pacific and a lot less amplified over North America. Even the Arctic Oscillation, which models had projected with seemingly high confidence to stay negative through the first half of the month, will actually go positive for a time next week. As a result, we are likely going to get hit with a 1-2 day stretch of above-freezing temperatures and quite possibly some rainfall on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
Beyond this troublesome stretch in the outlook, we should see some improvement. The MJO, though relatively stalled in a relatively neutral phase, should begin slowly progressing to a more favorable one allowing the jet in the Pacific to loosen again. The arctic oscillation which will move briefly positive next week is expected to go negative after that. Way too early for promises of glory but the holiday weekend does look potentially wintry with a decent chance of that continuing into the ensuing week.