I got out to do some "product testing" today. I made the 6+ hour round trip from where I live near the Mount Washington Valley all the way up to the Carrabassett Valley, home of Sugarloaf Mountain. I've been talking a lot about how Sugarloaf has been getting all snow from the last couple of storms that brought rain to most of NH and ME, and in the 8 years I've lived in New England, I've never had the chance to ski Sugarloaf. So, the fact that they've had 4 feet of snow in December was good motivation to make it happen, and the long drive was well worth it. Coverage was fantastic for any time of year, much less mid to late December. In a lot of places, it was nearly impossible to tell if there was a snowmaking base underneath, or if it was all natural. Here's a few pictures from the day:
The only downside was the visibility above mid-mountain. The fog and the new snow made for some really flat light. All in all though, a fantastic day, especially given the time of year.
Anyway, on to the forecast...
Not much to discuss in the short term with high pressure taking over. All eyes at this point are on next week, with a major storm headed our way for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Unfortunately, models are still showing a very warm storm for our region.
Well, there's really not much to say about the next few days except that you should get out and enjoy them! High pressure will take over heading into the weekend, and there will be plenty of sunshine out there. Temperatures will be cooler than they have been lately, but not uncomfortably cold. The best snow will of course be found at the resorts that were fortunate enough to receive some natural snow from the last couple of storms. In NH, the best destinations in that respect would be Cannon, Bretton Woods, and Wildcat. In ME, Sugarloaf and Saddleback.
I'm sure you're already seeing the mainstream media latching onto the possibility of a major storm right around Christmas next week. In some ways, I understand why a big deal is being made, because regardless of whether rain or snow falls, this storm is coming at a very inopportune time for those traveling. However, I think that too big of a deal is being made of the storm considering that we're still 5 or 6 days out from this storm.
So as per usual, you won't get any hype from me...just the facts. Unfortunately, the facts are still showing that this storm is more likely to be a wet and warm one for us. There were some changes in the models today that give some hope. In particular, they are starting to show some coastal development. The problem is though that the primary low that will form over the Great Lakes will bring too much warm air from the south in ahead of any coastal development, so there won't be any cold air in place to both keep the newly developed secondary low off the coast and also allow precip to fall as snow.
The forecast for this storm is far from set in stone. I will continue to update you with how the models are progressing as we get into the 3-5 day range. It will be very interesting to see how the shorter range models like the NAM handle this once it comes into their forecasting range.