Temperatures climbed into the 30's rather quickly across Vermont Saturday and the best snow was confined to far northern portions of the state. Colder air will make a slight push southward this evening, undercutting a very warm ridge in the jet stream positioned along the east coast. Mad River is right on a west to east running line dividing mixed precipitation and rain to the south and snow to the north this evening; but needless to say, additional snow accumulation is more likely farther north, especially from Stowe northward to Jay. For Sunday, much of northern Vermont is situated between the two conveyors of moisture associated with a disorganized storm. The cold conveyor and much of the wintry precipitation will be confined to the St Lawrence Valley, the warm conveyor and the rainfall will be confined to the southern half of New England mostly and points south. Temperatures are expected to fall back below the freezing mark tonight at Mad River and sneak back above the freezing mark by Sunday evening. Aside from some freezing drizzle, light freezing rain or just a little bit of plain light rain, I don't think we see too much action tomorrow. It's a little frustrating the way this storm turned out, but the dominant ridge in the jet stream mentioned above was simply too dominant this weekend and greatly hindered our results.
The outlook going forward is even more frustrating and getting close to the soul crushing category at least for me. The stalled MJO turned out to be a big head scratcher this month and has allowed the jet stream in the Pacific to clench its fist yet again. A few days ago, I might call the issue mildly problematic but with each round of new data, the ridge in the mid-latitude eastern Pacific looks more prominent and its going to pose some substantial challenges for us as we head toward the holiday week. The all important Arctic Oscillation (AO) will add some very unnecessarily gasoline to the fire during the upcoming week but will again turn negative (we think) around the time of the holiday week, keeping a glimmer of hope alive. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which has been invariably positive throughout the winter is then expected to take a significant negative turn after February 20th providing some more hope for the end of the month. I am not going to lie however, these next 10 days or so do not look great right now and it's hardly the best time for mother nature to smack us with a few upper cuts.
Seasonable temperatures will build back into the region Monday and temperatures will fall back into the 20's and then into the single numbers Monday night. Tuesday should be a beautiful blue bird February day with calm winds and plenty of sunshine. Clouds will advance into the region late in the day as mild Pacific air makes a massive push toward Vermont for the middle of the week. The mild air will successfully reach the state by Wednesday but before it does so, we could see some accumulating light snow either Tuesday night or very early Wednesday. Late Wednesday into Thursday looks like a torch with mild winds and some sunshine pushing temperatures toward 40. Readings will then stay mostly above freezing Wednesday night and get even milder Thursday.
Cold arctic air is still expected to make a push southward on Friday February 16th and this ensures a cold start to the holiday weekend. Unfortunately there isn't much fundamentally in the pattern keep the cold in place. Some snowfall is possible as the cold air advances into the region Thursday night or Friday with drier weather more likely Friday night into Saturday. Mild air is then expected to begin pushing into the region as early as Sunday. Can we at least establish some sort of overrunning surface to allow for some snowfall on Sunday ? Certainly possible, and it's about the best we can hope for. Lots of mild air will again build across the Mid Atlantic states and it be difficult though not impossible to keep it from reaching Vermont at some point in the Monday Feb 19th (Presdident's Day) to Wednesday Feb 21st period. Though the jet stream structure looks less than ideal, it mostly results from an amplification that is expected to occur in the western half of North America. A flatter jet stream would yield much better results and we need to hope to see a trend in that direction over the next few days.