Over 20 inches of snow in the past week has created some of the best snow conditions of the year across the state. We can expect a bit more as well during the early part of the weekend as another conglomeration of active weather systems, with the help of more subtropical moisture approaches the region from the southwest.
We can expect flurries to accompany the bearable winter chill during the day Thursday with some limited sun followed by a relatively dry Friday (with the exception of a few flurries). Temperatures will be in the teens for the most part Thursday and rise into the 20's by Friday. The active weather mentioned above will arrive sometime Friday evening with the approach of a warm front. Light snow will overspread the region from southwest to northeast and continue for a better part of the overnight and into early Saturday. Though a big accumulation isn't expected, 2-4 inches along with 20-25 degree temperatures should ensure a powdery Saturday morning. Readings are then expected to make a push toward the freezing mark during the afternoon and although periodic light snow may continue, snow conditions are expected to get a little wetter.
The forecast then gets tricky for the latter half of the weekend as a more significant area of low pressure with a more impressive area of moisture approaches the region. Models have had a very difficult time assessing not only the track of this system but even its overall viability. Unfortunately, it accompanies a strengthening ridge in the jet stream along the eastern seaboard and mild air which will begin to make a push into the region later in the day Saturday will continue its push with the storms arrival Sunday. The cold air in eastern Canada, which has proven to be invariably formidable throughout the winter will continue to push back and is likely going to save Vermont from a significant thaw. I want to leave room to alter the outlook somewhat but it appears as if Sunday's precipitation producing low pressure area will pass right up through central Vermont or just to our south. There's a lot of mid-level warmth however and snowfall on Sunday will be a tough ask. We will need the storm to track at least 100 miles further south for that; still, this will allow northern part of the state to avoid the period of plain rain. A period of sleet and freezing rain is probably the most likely outcome Sunday and what is even more likely is some small changes (at least) in these expectations.
Cold air will make a temporary re emergence over New England for Monday but the middle part of the week continues to look milder. The array of model data Thursday morning was somewhat less mild during the middle part of next week verses some data released in prior days. This has been a repeated theme throughout the winter that we can actually be thankful for. Even when the pattern has supported generally milder temperatures, cold arctic air has held very firm in central and eastern Canada and has mitigated the impact of several milder periods. Hopefully this occurs again next week but it continues to look as if we can expect 1-2 above freezing days and at least some mixed precipitation. Some of this cold arctic cold in Canada will make a push southward as we approach the holiday weekend. Friday of next week and at least half of the holiday weekend look chilly and I expect at least some new snow to accompany the colder weather.
The cold air is expected to relent by President's Day if you believe the ensemble data, which quite honestly have performed quite miserably beyond 10 days. We have a nice backbone of support from the AO which is expected to become modestly negative (after a brief positive interlude next week) but the pesky jet stream in the Pacific is tighter than we would probably like it and thus the signal across much of the eastern U.S. is milder than average though not overwhelmingly so. Most of the milder weather stems from the notion that a jet stream trough is expected to set up shop across the eastern Rockies. Boy do they need it since they have had a miserable stretch of snow conditions (at least the southern Rockies) dating back to late last year. I am not ready to say it quite works out as such however and I continue to think the cold in central and eastern Canada will be a factor across northern New England. Lots of hedging I suppose, but I remain on the somewhat optimistic side for the holiday week in spite of the less than optimistic ensemble data.