Winter is back ! More than anything else, it's nice to see some over-performance on snowfall, which we finally saw a bit of Thursday night into early Friday. We obviously have more snow to look forward to so lets get right to it. We have the remnants of some Pacific Northwest energy that will combine with a bit of subtropical moisture Saturday night and some snowfall will be the result for a good part of Sunday and Sunday night. This storm isn't exactly a world beater somewhat of a cynic as to much of Vermont ever getting into a seriously good conveyor of moisture. The storm will strengthen slowly however with an elongated area of low pressure passing right over the state very early Monday. Some light snow will begin across the region as early as Saturday evening and continue sporadically through Saturday night. The steadier stuff arrives on Sunday and we should see snowfall at mostly a light, but occasionally a moderate intensity through much of the day. Temperatures will start the weekend at or below zero, warm to about 20 Saturday afternoon, hold steady Saturday night and then make a run at 30 Sunday. This means that some of the snowfall, particularly in the valley areas will be a little wet. Their is a short window of time Sunday night for some terrain/lake enhanced snow before a blustery Monday with temperatures back in the teens. I would put total snowfall in the 4-8 inch range right now.
There is a small chance for some very light snow on Tuesday but the early part of the upcoming week is expected to be free of significant snowfall and should include some sunny interludes (particularly Monday). Our midweek storm (Wednesday) is looking very promising right now, potentially one of the best so far this year. This system is another product of some active weather in the Pacific Northwest, but it should gather moisture from the Gulf of Mexico with more success than its predecessor and advance northeast as a more significant snow producer. Disagreement persists regarding the track of this storm and this will ultimately determine snowfall amounts. The Euro is tracking the system through northern Vermont while other models track the storm closer to the southern New England coastline. The northern track involves a stronger storm but introduces the possibility of a turn to sleet/ice. This goes along with some of the themes discussed in early posts regarding our flirtations with danger. The consensus of data would suggest a decent hit right now so I think optimism is justified.
A clipper system very late in the week will bring the possibility of additional light snow before another burst of cold arrives on the scene late on February 9th (Friday) or on the 10th (Saturday). The cold is expected to modify somewhat quickly over the weekend but the jury is out if this modification is accompanied by any additional snowfall.
The longer range has gotten a little bit cloudier over the last two days. Many forecasts had the middle of February pegged as another time frame where some very cold weather could hit the eastern half of the United States. These assumptions were largely based on extrapolations folks were making about the MJO. Ensembles, pretty much all of them at varying degrees, have thrown a monkey wrench into that notion and are showing the MJO stalling in a more neutral phase as opposed to continuing into a cold one. Ensembles are also indicating much warmer weather for large portions of the country. I have no issue with this, for now, but the trend has been a little disturbing and to be completely honest I would like it to stop. Assuming it does, I think we turn out fine. Perhaps not as cold as some of my own expectations a week ago but well-positioned for some additional snowfall even if the regions such as the Ohio Valley and Mid Atlantic turn mild. The aforementioned period involves the week leading into the President's Day holiday.