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Today (Tuesday) turned out very different depending on what elevation you were at. Clouds and fog hung around all day for elevations below 2,000 feet, while elevations above 2,000 feet enjoyed some sunshine. Here's a shot from Stowe's (Vermont) Facebook page this morning:
And here's a shot that one of my friends on Facebook posted from Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire:
It was definitely a day to be up high. Wednesday will end up being the best overall day weather wise, regardless of elevation, through the end of the week. Although it will be a bit warmer than I'd like it to be (highs generally in the 40's), there will at least be some sun poking through the clouds for everyone.
Thursday and Friday will stay relatively warm and with precipitation moving in at the same time, we're going to see water fall from the sky in the wrong form. At this point, I don't see much in the way of steady or heavy rain falling while the lifts are spinning on Thursday or Friday, but there will be plenty of showers around. On Thursday night, a steadier period of rain will likely move through, but will have moved out by daybreak on Friday. In addition to some showers on Friday, watch out for fog and drizzle, especially at higher elevations.
As I mentioned the other day, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's a pretty big and bright light too. Once this wetter warmer weather moves out at the end of the weekend, we'll see a return to below average temperatures with a few chances at the kind of precipitation that we want to see fall from the sky this time of year!
Some light snowfall is currently moving through the moutnains of western Maine, with some snow showers moving into western Vermont as well. Here's the current radar as I write this:
This snowfall is being caused by a weak storm passing by to our north. Snowfall amounts in western Maine at resorts like Sunday River and Sugarloaf will be in the 1-3 inch range. Any other areas that see some snow showers will generally only see a coating to an inch. Higher elevation resorts in the Green Mountain and Adirondacks could see an inch or two.
Looking at the week ahead, I'm not terribly excited about what I see. Maybe the generally unseasonabley cold weather pattern over the last couple of weeks has me spoiled, but I still don't like the more seasonable pattern that is developing for most of the week. Thanks to the trough over the country shifting westward, warmer air will be able to head northward and in turn, temperatures during the day will be quite a bit warmer, with highs mostly in the 40's by mid week. Thankfully, at the very least temperatures at night will still support several hours of snowmaking at most resorts in New England. As far as precipitation is concerned, there is a chance of rain or rain showers anytime from Wednesday through the end of the week. The various models are disagreeing considerably as to exactly when and how much, so we'll have to see how that develops over the next couple of days.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. By the weekend, the trough shifts back eastward and much colder air is likely to return.
Oh, one last thing. Remember that coastal storm I mentioned in my post on Friday? Well, unfortunately that has trended further offshore over the weekend. There is very little chance of that bringing any significant snowfall to any New England resorts. Here's where the latest run of the GFS shows that storm:
Close, but not close enough.
Saturday will definitely be another quiet, but very cold day across New England. Resorts will continue to be able to pump out the powder of the manmade variety. Look for trail counts to increase rapidly by the time Monday rolls around, especially for the bigger resorts with good snowmaking systems.
So when is Mother Nature going to deliver some more of the real stuff? Looks like Sunday is the day. A weak storm will move through New England starting Sunday morning. Showers will be around all day, with mostly rain showers from central VT and NH southward, and snow showers north. Don't expect much accumulation in the lower elevations though, with a coating to an inch or maybe two in any areas that heavier snow squalls pass though. At the higher elevations however, there will be some accumulation. Look for resorts like Cannon, Bretton Woods, Wildcat, and Sugarloaf to pick up 1-3 inches. Over in the Green Moutnains, resorts like Stowe and Jay Peak will see 3-6 inches by the time things wind down late Sunday or early Monday.
Looking longer term, I'm keeping an eye on an interesting coastal system that has been showing up in one way or another in the models for a couple days now. Here's where the latest GFS shows this storm on Tuesday afternoon:
For this particular model run, the center of the low is too far offshore to have much of an effect on us. However at times, it has brought it much closer to shore, and other models also keep it closer to shore. Even if that happens, we're not looking at big accumulations here, but resorts the ended up seeing nearly all rain out of this past Wednesday's storm could end up seeing a light accumulation depending on how things turn out.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Mine was great, but very busy. The next couple of days are also going to be extremely busy in the ski shop that I work in. In fact, I'll be putting in 25 hours over the next two days. Because of this, and the fact that things are looking very quiet over the region over the next few days, this post is going to be a quick one.
Looking back at the storm over the last couple of days, it looks like Vermont ended up winning out in the end. Whiteface did get snow, but not as much as I thought. Resorts like Stowe, Smuggler's Notch, and Jay then ended up doing better on the back end than I anticipated. Those resorts, along with others in that part of New England, definitely ended up with a solid net gain of snow. I wish I could say that for resorts further east.
The next couple of days are going to be generally quiet, but quite cold. Daytime highs won't get above freezing for the majority of resorts across the region. This will mean 24 hour snowmaking for any resorts that want to take advantage. Given this, skiing at any open resorts should be good as they work to refresh the snow surface, and anyone trying to get open will surely be able to if they want to.
The next chance at some precipitation will be late this coming weekend as a weak storm moves through. I'll write more about that in my next post though.
Had a great day at Sunday River for my second day on snow this season:
Tons of terrain open for this time of year, snow coverage was great, and the snow quality was even better. I'm glad I was able to get on snow before this mess of a storm hit too!
Speaking of that mess, it's here, and it's going to get messier. As I write this, warm air is already starting to push further and further inland. Here at my place in the Mount Washington Valley, there is a couple inches of snow on the ground (some from last night) and it's sleeting right now. As I mentioned last night, any snowfall that the vast majority of resorts in the region receives tonight will be completely erased by the heavy rain that is coming tomorrow. The only exceptions will continue to be the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the northern Adirondacks where 6-12 inches of snow and sleet will fall. Whiteface in NY has the best chance of seeing all frozen or freezing precipitation from this storm and will also end up being the overall winner too.
Behind the storm on Wednesday night, temperatures will drop quickly and any remaining precipitation will change back to snow across the entire region. There could even be a quick burst of snow as a secondary low moves out of the Gulf of Maine. You can see that secondary low very well here on this graphic from the NAM model (the primary low is nearly out of the picture on the upper right edge):
Lower elevations will see a coating to an inch, while higher elevations will see a few inches.
Looking longer term, things look pretty quiet through the weekend. Luckily, unseasonably cold air will also settle in, meaning 24/7 snowmaking for any resort in New England that wants to take advantage. This will mean that anyone that is already open will be able to quickly recover from the current storm, and anywhere that isn't open will be able to get there quickly.
As far as storms are concerned in the long term, the only thing I see of any significance is the Euro model hinting at another coastal storm around the middle of next week. Right now though, it's the only long range model showing that storm, so just someting to keep an eye on right now.