Think Snow, Tweet Snow !!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Winter 2016-17: A fun ride that at times made us a little nausious

Another season in the books and what a ride it was. A little bit of frustration, a little bit of elation and though certainly not a winter for the ages, we came out alright in the end. The bar was set very low following the Super Nino catastrophe of 2015-2016 and although we tasted some of the same pain that was inflicted upon us in that winter, 2016-17 turned out to be very different and certainly much better. The biggest difference was the elimination of the dreaded snow hole which terrorized Vermont skiers during 2015-16. Vermont was in fact, one of the best places to be for snowfall in the northeast receiving a healthy share of storms and we were reintroduced to a nearly forgotten concept of the Champlain enhanced terrain induced snowfall.  I mean, I myself had about forgotten all the pleasures of living in the mountains downwind of Lake Champlain and all of ski country benefited copiously.  

The traditional winter ski season at MRG stretches 17-18 weeks starting in early to mid December and ending in early to mid April. During most of this span we were dealing with some pretty tough headwinds. The prevailing pattern was, for a majority of the winter season pretty lousy and temperatures were almost as mild as last season once you crunch all the numbers. For 8 of those weeks, the skiing was incredible. We had two weeks in December, 3 spanning the period in late January into the first half of February and another 3 during the month of March into April fools day. Even during those interludes of terrific winter weather, it wasn’t especially cold except for isolated stretches of a few days. In March, we finally recorded a below normal temperatures month which was the first in two years (during the winter) and remarkably, actual temperatures were lower than February, an occurrence that  happens perhaps once in 75 years. For those 8 weeks though , we really brought it.  Of the nearly 250 inches of snow that fell this year on MRG, three quarters of it fell in that consolidated stretch.  


Going into December, just knowing that we had the Super Nino quashed was reason for optimism. Still the inability to sustain below normal temperatures through the summer and fall in any material way was a legitimate concern and was expressed as such in the preseason outlook. This tendency in fact, held through much of the winter largely because of the Arctic Oscillation which maintained a positive index for over 80 percent of the season. The Arctic Oscillation isn't the be all end all of teleconnection indices but from a big picture standpoint, it is the best overall measure of blocking in the jet stream at high latitudes. It is after all, the blocking, which is the best way to sustain cold across the middle latitude climates. Vermont can still can get cold without it and we did in several instances, but the winter as a whole was very mild and the mainly positive AO would be the culprit before anything else. Without the AO we were dependent on a loose jet in the Pacific and a positive Pacific-North American or PNA index which we only received intermittently.  The pattern was in generally speaking dominated by zonal flow and lots of storminess in the Pacific, especially in California. The Lake Tahoe ski resorts think they might be skiing until the 4th of July thanks to the nearly 500 inches of snow that fell over the resorts this winter. The glory in the Sierra Nevada high country however proved to painful for ski areas south of 40 N latitude  in eastern North America who suffered through long stretches of mild weather and received very little snowfall the few times it was cold. Vermont faired much better and benefited from the personality of the winter which consisted of more snowfall the farther north you went.  


By the first week in December, we knew that our winter would not go the way of 2015-2016. A large blocking feature emerged in the Bering Sea and a relatively tight jet in the Pacific loosened considerably. Snowfall came almost instantly and much of it was the terrain induced variety from Lake Champlain. By December 10th we were blanketed with over 3 feet of relatively fluffy snowfall and were immersed in a elongated stretches of sub-freezing temperatures. It proved to be one of the better such stretches of the season amazingly which is unusual for December. Most of the Vermont ski country was opened for business early in December and Mad River followed with an opening on the 2nd full weekend of the month. The cold air associated with the Bering sea block peaked around December 16th with an airmass that brought temperatures on Mt Washington to –35 F, one of the coldest readings I have seen there in several years. The large Bering Sea block which was the catalyst behind that nice stretch of December weather broke down by the Winter Solstice and at no point during the rest of the winter did we see a large blocking feature of the same magnitude. Rain and ice arrived by the 18th of the month and most of the holiday period was spent in a defensive posture, while snow piled up across the west.  

Mild weather continued into the first few days of 2017 and was followed by a widespread outbreak of cold between January 5th and 9th that somewhat snuck up on eastern North America. The absence of any jet stream blocking feature allowed the cold to escape rather quickly before snow of any significance reinvigorated the rather "crusty" conditions. The middle of January didn't feature record warmth but the pattern was dominated by a zonal flow and a powerful Pacific Jet that unloaded an amazing amount of snow on the Sierra Nevada range and other parts of the intermountain west. MRG stayed open and was dangling by a thread for several days during the middle of the month yet maintained a relatively healthy base above 3000 feet that proved useful as time went along. One of the more significant precipitation producing storms of the month impacted the region around the time of the 23rd 24th of Jan. Temperature profiles were marginal and in the end, the mountain ended up receiving several inches of sleet. It was a disappointing result but it laid the foundation for what became an outstanding stretch of winter. It began Thursday the 26th with an elevation snowfall that yielded 6-8 inches and this was followed 5 more inches of the Champlain stuff Friday night and several more inches during the weekend.  

The first two weeks of February featured a weakened Pacific Jet, a tenuous ridge in western North America and some of the best skiing of the year in Vermont. The snow piled up rather impressively, not all at once but in several 5-10 powder days. We had a brief several hour period of rain on February 8th but aside from that, the first 17 days of February stayed below freezing and the snow was plentiful. Adding the last few days of January into this 3 week stretch, the mountain received 5 feet of snow between January 26th and February 16th and I remember the mountain declaring for the first time in 2 years "We are 100 percent open"! The best storm in that stretch came February 12th and 13th which was roughly an 18 incher.  We got side swiped by another storm later in the week that provided another 6-10 inches and made for some terrific skiing for the first part of the President's Day holiday. Ominous signs loomed however and though I certainly suggested some rough times ahead, I totally underestimated how incredibly bad it became.  

The last 10 days of February is often when some of the best skiing is there to be had at MRG.  By February 11th , it certainly appeared that the holiday week following President's Day would not feature such conditions. In spite of this, the mild weather appeared like it would be somewhat short lived and ultimately replaced by a more productive pattern to close out the month. What happened was a complete abomination. Some mild weather around President's Day proved only to foreshadow a catastrophically warm period that began on the 21st. Lingering arctic air in Quebec or even a layer of cloudiness couldn’t save us. Mild air fully enveloped the region and not only was every day above freezing, it blew away expectations. Temperatures on the mountain exceeded 50 on 5 different days and when combined with the wind and the heavy rain on the 25th, our deep snow was obliterated.  

March 1st featured temperatures 30 above normal and there was legitimate "nail in the coffin" fear. There was the promise of a much more favorable pattern but a very dismissive form of cynicism emanated from the Mad River Glen community. Temperatures were 25 below normal on March 4th but accompanied by plenty of bare ground ! A potential storm during the middle of the first full week of March turned into another mini washout and this was followed by one of the most intense blasts of arctic air of the season March 11th accompanied again by hardly any snow ! At this point however we had our eyes gazed at a storm system poised to blast the northeast corridor with winter weather. It was apparent the storm would be a substantial event quite early and furthermore MRG was certainly in position to be on the receiving end of some of the goodies. That said, models suggested a bigger hit in coastal cities and even an 8-14 inch storm could have fallen short of what was needed to reopen the mountain for business. The SCWB fumbled the football a bit on the intensity of the February thaw, but remained a believer in the potential of the pattern in March and the possibility of getting "bullseyed" by the March 14th event. It was "Game of Thrones" style drama, season 6 to be specific since the rest of the seasons had crap endings. With time winding down on the clock, models shifted the track of the storm 100 miles west and just like that we were free to fly. The March 14th storm started right at daybreak, slammed the Green Mountains with 3 inch an hour snowfall rates during the evening and continued right through March 15 enabling MRG to score 30-plus inches. It certainly ranked as one of the best since the inception of the blog back in 2004.  Cold weather continued for several days in the wake of the storm and allowed for skiing enjoyment into the ensuing weekend. Additional snow and another arctic blast around March 22 provided an additional powdery window.   

Temperatures warmed somewhat during the last few days of March and into the first full week of April. The snow was slow to melt however and allowed for skiable terrain until the weekend of April 8th and 9th.  By the end of the season, snowfall in most areas, particularly in the high country, was above average and I know a few hearty  souls continue to make turns with the cornhorn firmly in hand as of late April. I know there were some rough times, but I'll take a winter like this over a few other the blog has presided over. A highly favorable pattern never really seemed to materialize but the marginally favorable ones allowed for 7-8 incredible weeks. Hopefully we can achieve the same type of success in terms of snowfall next season but without the prolonged interruptions. Enjoy the summer folks and sorry for the delay ! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Big storm Thursday/Friday is lots of rain with some elevation snow on back end

Winter continues to hold a very tenuous grip on Vermont and across the high country, the snow pack is very close to the seasonal peak. Though the state got a good dousing of rain on Tuesday, temperatures held in the mid 30's and there were a few reports of snowfall above 2500 feet. So yes, the melt and the mud is certainly on, but the melting has been slower the first few April than it was the last few days of February.


I can't speak for what the folks at Mad River Glen plan to do operationally speaking this weekend and we are watching for the impact of a potentially big storm. With that said, I'll discuss the storm and make this the last forecasting blog post of the season and follow this up with the traditional seasonal wrap-up sometime next week.


The storm in question has already deposited snow across the southern Rocky Mountains and much of the front range and high plains as far south as Texas. This giant piece of jet stream energy will churn its way northeast and an influx of gulf moisture and convective fireworks will help the storm continue to intensify as it heads toward the eastern Great Lakes. Unfortunately, the storm is amplifying just a little early than what we would consider preferable and is also tracking north and west of what we would consider preferable. The ideal spot for snowfall will thus be the northern lower peninsula of Michigan and a swatch of southeast Ontario. The storm will reach a peak intensity as it approaches Vermont early Friday but will then occlude and gradually weaken as it slowly moves along the Canadian border toward the Canadian Maritimes by late on Sunday. Vermont is in a position to get another giant swatch of moisture from this weather system, just the wrong kind of moisture. Precipitation will arrive as rain during the morning on Thursday and continue into the early evening falling at an occasionally heavy intensity. The close proximity of the low pressure center late Thursday will likely allow a dry slot end the precipitation later Thursday evening and allow much of Thursday night to be dry. It is possible that the heavy rainfall, 40 degree temperatures and snow-melt will allow for some flooding and I am relatively confident we will hear something to that effect from the National Weather Service in Burlington. Colder air will infiltrate the region by Friday morning but temperatures will be very marginal and less than marginal for a time across the valley locations. Snow showers should begin across the high country during the middle part of the day but this precipitation is likely to be only sprinkles or light rain showers in the valley spots. The snow showers should intensify Friday night and we should see an accumulation above 1500 feet. By Saturday morning, we can expect a few gloppy inches at the base and 4-8 inches above the mid-station. The amounts and snow consistency will be extremely elevation sensitive as they almost are during any big storm occlusion. Close to the summits of the Green Mountains, the snow could be powdery in nature but below 3,000 feet this might be tough to pull off.


Flurries and snow showers will continue through a good part of Saturday followed by clearing Saturday night and lots of April sunshine Sunday. This will mark a big, albeit temporary, turn in the weather. Sunshine will help Sunday's temperatures reach the 50's but the mild weather will explode onto the scene for early next week. Valley locations could see temperatures as high as 70 either Monday or Tuesday (you heard it hear first because my smartphone is not saying that yet !). Enjoy those last few turns and thanks for all the comments good and bad with the prior post. All the contributions are always appreciated.







Wednesday, March 29, 2017

April Fools snow, a colder outlook and other rantings

It's no April Fools joke though it would might make for a good one. A March that started with excessive 60-degree warmth will finish with snowfall. Above 3,000 feet, the snow consistency might even be more powdery than wet although this remains a close call. Since last we spoke, indications are that the storm in question will track closer to the Mason-Dixon line as opposed to the Delmarva Peninsula. This places Vermont in a decidedly better place for moisture which should arrive during the morning hours Friday. Temperatures will be in the marginal category throughout the duration of this storm and will likely hover above the freezing mark in the valley locations which include a chunk of the Rte 100 corridor and the Champlain Valley. The MRG base should see temperatures at or just below the freezing mark while readings at the summit will in the high 20's. The heaviest snow is indicated to fall during the evening hours Friday and although snowfall rates will lessen after midnight, the snow itself should continue into Saturday morning. Those looking for those first April tracks Saturday have the best chance at finding the high elevation powder, 8-12 inches of it in fact above the mid-station. Closer to the base, I would expect a 4-8 inch range and a considerably wetter snow consistency. Saturday's temps will likely cross the freezing threshold at the base and may approach that mark higher up the mountain so the powdery stuff could turn wetter as the day moves along.


The outlook beyond Saturday has shifted decisively to the colder side. Though we are not expecting weather conditions to be particularly anomalous, the outlook from a few days ago did suggest a period of warmer weather and even some rain during the middle of next week. Models have taken all  of that weather and pushed it south and with pretty good agreement. Weak Canadian high pressure will thus build across the region after the snow tapers off on Saturday and ensure that almost all of our overnight during the first 5 or so days of April are below freezing. Daytime temperatures, thanks to the rising April sun angle, are likely to reach the 40's Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I might point out that there are indications of another notable east coast system that is now indicated impact areas south of Vermont Tuesday but this remains a week away and indications can change. Atmospheric conditions (at least at the tropospheric level) will be at their warmest during the middle of the week so I am fine with a "miss" on the aforementioned storm; in addition, there is plenty of intrigue for the end of the week when the set up is considerably better.


At jet stream level, there is some substantial ridging that is expected to develop late next week across Alaska and the Yukon territory of Canada. Underneath all of this, storminess will continue to cross the country and keep the weather across the United States very active from coast to coast. There's quite a bit of fun that can emerge in this type of set up across New England and the period surrounding April 6th and 7th is one that we should watch closely. A little spark from what's left of the polar jet and we could talking about another mammoth east coast system and more Vermont snow. Hey when the pattern produces, it produces, and though it might have been better served in late February, I'll take it anyway I can get it.


I'll finish with a rant directed at the proverbial toxic stink that has enveloped much of our elected US government and specifically the group that has over generously anointed themselves the "House Committee on Science, Space and Technology". These folks had a hearing on Wednesday, March 29th where the apparent plan was to hijack the overwhelmingly accepted consensus on climate science and make its defacto leader, Dr Michael Mann, look like a jackass. Dr Mann, agree with him or not, comes prepared and is generally ready for attacks from all directions and he got them from the assortment of climate science skeptics that the committee selectively invited. Dr Mann represented himself well and his arguments were well supported but I can't emphasize enough what a dog and pony show this turned into. Just imagine if a John Q Weather Forecasting Blogger such as myself examining forecast data, 97 percent of which indicated "partly cloudy", decided to spend 4 paragraphs talking about a 10-plus inches of snow that 3 percent of the forecast data is showing. I guarantee a few readers would fall in love with me for telling them what they wanted to hear, but ultimately the entire community would and should wish me to crawl under a rock and render me quite delusional. One of so-called skeptics, Dr Judith Curry waxed poetic about being persecuted for having a minority opinion. Really ? Playing the victim card while a group of political shills is hailing you as a hero because your telling them what they want to hear. Even climate science skeptic Roger Pielke advised lawmakers to form policy before a 100 percent consensus was reached. As for Dr. Curry, her minority opinion should not persecuted, but an honest cross section of scientists represented should include the likes of her, Dr Pielke and 97 other scientists that accept the general consensus that human activity HAS had a material impact on our climate and has caused changes the likes of which we have never over such a short geological time scale; furthermore, if steps are not taken to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, warming has the potential to have drastic consequences on human life several generations down the road. As for this generation, our legacy is decided now, I'd hate to think we would get remembered for what took place today. And with that, THINK SNOW !

Monday, March 27, 2017

Winter may have multiple encores planned over next 2-3 weeks the first which could arrive late Friday

My apologies for neglecting my blogging duties the last several days. In doing so I missed the nice burst of snow that the mountain received Friday which yielded a surprisingly good powder day according to the reports I got. 2 rounds of freezing rain have left MRG somewhat "encrusted" and we actually could use some warmer temps (or another 10 inches of pow) to loosen things up. Winter has been fighting rather admirably to maintain control over the weather in Vermont and by the looks of things, this should continue to be the case.


Temperatures as high as 40 on Tuesday could help soften part of the mountain though I can't promise much in the way of accompanying sunshine. We can expect some of the latter on Wednesday as a dry Canadian airmass assumes control of New England's weather picture.  The dry weather during the middle of the week is certainly a change relative to expectations a few days ago and the sunshine should be a welcome sight which will allow temperatures to again warm toward 40 after beginning the day in the 20's. The forecast picture continues to look on the active side however and after another dry and somewhat sunny start, clouds should advance into the region by late in the day Thursday in advance of our next and somewhat interesting looking storm system.


Over the last 48 hours or so, the data has begun aligning around the idea of what I would call a significant east coast weather system though certainly not historic. The dry and yet not especially cold Canadian airmass, the relative strength of the storm, and the track of the center of lowest pressure begs the question of whether we could actually pull out an early spring victory. All of the aforementioned variables are certainly aligned to make this possible but remain rather marginal at least as of now. The Canadian airmass only supports temperatures near the freezing mark and the track of the storm is indicated to be over the Delmarva which is south of what we consider to be ideal. Still, a significant elevation event which would include some significant high elevation powder should be included in the possibility spectrum along with a total miss. The timing of all this would be in the late Friday to Saturday time frame. In the wake of this potential storm should be more clouds late Saturday and Sunday and some potential snow showers. Temperatures should remain relatively close to the freezing mark through the upcoming weekend.


Dry weather should prevail for Monday and Tuesday of next week before another conglomeration of storminess of some variety impacts the weather in the period between April 4th-6th. This 3-day window looks to be the warmest (relative to normal) in the upcoming 2-week outlook and most of the precipitation should be of the rain variety. Ensembles indicate another potential loosening of the jet in the Pacific and some jet stream ridging over Alaska and the Yukon. The combination of these two features would lead to another round of winter during the period between April 6th and April 12th. So in summary, in no way would I be willing to declare winter finished in Vermont.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Colder outlook for interior New England over the next 10 days ensures snow will stick around until early April

Bitterly cold temperatures and up to 6 inches of fresh pow greeted skiers on the mountain Wednesday. The latest blast of chill sent temperatures in to the single digits within a few hours and this would be cold by January standards. For cold weather lovers, enjoy it, because this is likely to be the last healthy blast of mid-winter-like chill we'll see until next year. Make no mistake, the outlook into next week looks quite a bit colder today but the jet stream will assume a more spring-like appearance and the weather map will be devoid of the bursts of arctic cold that have so characterized the current month of March. This is not to say we won't see more snowfall, we likely will, but with temperatures substantially closer to the freezing mark.


Readings Thursday morning will hover around zero for what will probably be the last time until next ski season. Bright March sunshine will go to work and will help make for a comfortable winter afternoon with temperatures in the 20's and minimal amounts of wind. More clouds are expected Friday and temperatures will quickly warm toward the freezing mark. Precipitation is expected to arrive by midday and although a brief 1-2 hour period of snow is likely at the start, rain and a few pockets of freezing rain should prevail through much of the afternoon and into the early evening.


There was talk mostly yesterday on Twitter of some snow across parts of interior New England this weekend and some of this was justified even if it wasn't entirely likely across a widespread area. The jet stream will produce a nice confluence area in eastern Canada even as the polar jet is receding. Such a feature allows healthy pool of arctic cold to establish itself across Quebec and this airmass will provide some serious resistance against the encroaching milder spring weather. Just as the mild weather begins overtaking Vermont and New Hampshire late Friday, the cold from Quebec will reassert itself by later Saturday. Though it wouldn't be impossible, snowfall doesn't appear likely. The aforementioned airmass will dry it out late on Saturday and send temperatures below freezing again Saturday night but a better organized weather system that appears well-supplied with moisture will approach on Sunday and although the forecast appears colder, it probably won't be cold enough. Freezing rain or sleet would be my guess right now, beginning Sunday and persisting in some fashion through Sunday night. Though appearing more to be a travel head-ache than a big powder producer, this storm should be watched as the situation as already evolved quite a bit from a few days ago.


The storminess is expected to continue into next week and although the jet stream, as mentioned, will appear more spring-like, the cold centered in eastern Canada will be hard-pressed to give ground. The outlook thus looks substantially colder and likely devoid of 50-degree temperatures. The weather map will look messy also and models have struggled to reach an agreement of the specifics of precipitation. Expect lots of clouds early in the week and poor visibility with temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark. A more organized area of precipitation is likely to impact the region during the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame although this could change. The most intriguing part this potential storm system are the hints that a "4th quarter" jet amplification across eastern New England brings the possibility of significant snowfall into play in a week where a few days ago, this appeared completely unlikely. If this does happen, it won't be especially cold with temperatures in the 20's and low 30's but again, certainly no 50. At the very least, it ensures that the recent big snowfall will stick around until early April.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Winter takes a last gasp this week before capitulating to much milder spring weather

A couple of bluebird days over the recent weekend made MRG a great place to enjoy last week's  massive snowfall. Temperatures have begun to advance above the freezing mark near the base which is no surprise, it's late March and a full day of sunshine will make it very difficult to stay sub-32 for the entire day. This type of weather should continue into Monday and Tuesday with some sunshine on the former and more clouds on the latter.


As promised, another blast of Arctic air arrives very late on Tuesday. There is a rather potent polar jet disturbance associated with the advance of this cold and this should allow for a burst or two of snow either Tuesday night or very early Wednesday. Much of the best snowfall associated with this is, at least right now, indicated to be north of MRG but 1-3 inches is still the likeliest outcome by early Wednesday. This airmass is of the rather shallow and dry variety so the terrain enhancement that we've enjoyed so much of this year is not as likely. Wednesday will be very cold for late March with temperatures struggling to eclipse 10 degrees during the day and falling below zero over the deep late March snow cover Wednesday night. The end of the week will see temperatures moderate quickly with decent amounts of sun both Thursday and Friday. Readings on Thursday should stay in the 20's but advance past 40 by Friday.


The retreat of the cold weather late this week will indeed mark a behavioral shift in the weather out of the recent full-on winter mode and consistent with that of middle Spring. Now lets be honest, we've already been through this once in late February, when the weather resembled something more typical of April and our deep snow was obliterated. The shift was amazingly quick and so was the loss of our snow. This could happen once again as the jet stream in the Pacific is expected to dramatically tighten and we lack the support of any of the key teleconnection indices that we regularly track. Saturday March 25th could turn out to feature some excessive warmth though there is some lingering Arctic chill in Quebec that could at least delay the mild push of weather for a day or two. The last 5-6 days of March all look pretty mild and unless we see some dramatic changes in this longer range outlook, I would expect lots of 50 degree weather and lots of mud on the dirt roads.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Outlook looks mostly cold through March 24th though our snow-prospects have been downgraded

Snow continues to fly as of Wednesday evening and a few more bursts early Wednesday night should bring our total into the 30-35 inch range (I actually thought we were there already but I wasn't the one keeping score). What an incredible storm !  One felt by the entire state and one that was especially generous to ski country. It was an ironic twist in a "twisted" winter that almost 3 feet of beautiful, skiable and not particularly windblown snow now covers many areas with a non-existent base. We literally did need almost every inch from this storm to turn to get this epic day we all hoped might happen next year.

This is the type of storm that can be enjoyed for several days and it's a good thing because our snow prospects have probably been downgraded as of the time of this update. Flurries should continue into a good part of Thursday and some additional snow should greet skiers by the time the lifts open. Cold weather will also continue with temperatures well below freezing (high's only in the teens Thursday) and brisk winds. The cold weather will continue on Friday and Saturday. Friday should feature some sunshine and less winds making the 20-25 degree temperatures feel balmy.

A much smaller winter storm is expected to impact the northeast on Saturday. The storm and most of its associated jet energy is expected to undercut a receding polar jet stream and amplify offshore. Most of the precipitation is expected to remain south of northern Vermont though that hasn't been entirely decided. Right now I would probably include some light snow in a forecast for Saturday but I am doubtful whether it amounts to much given trends in some of the data. Southern Vermont and the Berkshires could certainly score a few inches and the Connecticut hills might end up doing the best. Any warm-up for the weekend though has basically been thwarted and snow conditions should remain powdery, if not increasingly packed through Sunday morning. A strong late March sun on Sunday March 19th could push temperatures past the freezing mark close to the base.

For next week we have another surge of cold weather to talk about. It may not arrive until late Tuesday which leaves the opportunity for a few above-freezing afternoons Monday and perhaps Tuesday. This is entirely normal in mid-March if we are not fully immersed in arctic chill. When such arctic chill does arrive late Tuesday it could bring some snow with it though it remains to be seen how much. The cold weather from this airmass should persist through Friday and this essentially means snow from the recent storm will cover the slopes until then.

A large storm may impact the region around the time of the aforementioned Friday March 24th and continue into Saturday March 25th. There are clear indications that the cold weather will receding but it doesn't necessarily mean that the storm in question can't produce snow. It's certainly possible that some snow falls and the storm might include a whole allotment of precipitation types before it exits the region. After that, there are visible indications of a turn to more spring-like weather. We haven't had a lot of support from any of the teleconnection indices during most of the winter and it certainly doesn't look like we will have much help in late March. This would mean a mild finish to a very topsy-turvy month though we could again see changes to this outlook. Anyway, hope everyone got a chance to enjoy the storm. It was certainly one of the more memorable ones in the 12 or so years I've been doing the blog.