New England Daily Snow

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By Jay Cordeira, Meteorologist Posted 1 month ago February 28, 2024

Rain and Wind

Summary

Record warmth will be replaced by locally heavy rainfall and a sharp drop in temperatures on Wednesday night. We'll deal with some cold temperatures on Thursday, but rebound nicely into the weekend.

Short Term Forecast

Gust southwest winds brought record warmth and temperatures up through the 50s and 60s across New England on Tuesday. More warmth is in the cards for Wednesday as a strong storm passes to our north and west, albeit with cloudier and wetter conditions. Temperatures will once again move into the 40s and 50s on the slopes with strong winds and locally heavy rain, especially late on Wednesday. 

NAM model forecast animation for 7AM Wednesday through 7AM Thursday.

A bulk of the heavier rain holds off until after last chair on Wednesday and will be steadiest/heaviest on Wednesday evening into Wednesday night. That is when a line of heavy rain associated with the cold front, with potential for thunderstorms, rolls through from ~10PM to 1AM. Winds will gust hard behind the front out of the northwest >50-70 mph with a sharp drop in temperatures and likely snow squalls. 

NAM model temperature forecast for 7AM Wednesday through 7AM Thursday. 

Temperatures will drop from the mid-to-upper 40s on the slopes above 3000 feet on Wednesday afternoon to single digits by Thursday morning. For example, our OpenSnow blend has temperatures at Killington at 3700' drop from 46F at 1PM on Wednesday to 1F by 7AM Thursday. At one point the temperature is forecast to drop 19F in two hours from 43F to 24F between 8-10PM on Wednesday night. That drop will likely produce a "flash freeze" and produce some icy conditions on the roads and slopes.

OpenSnow hourly weather forecast at Killington at 3700 feet for 1PM Wednesday through 7AM Thursday.

While Thursday is looking pretty brutal, cold, and windy, Friday is looking pretty good as temperatures rebound to near freezing on the slopes across the region. By Saturday and Sunday we're even back into the mid-30s and low 40s on the slopes.

One tricky part of the forecast is whether or not any of the wet surfaces get covered in appreciable snow on the backside of the cold front. This snow would likely keep conditions from getting too icy, but still produce an interest gradient of slush beneath light snows. 

The models are really all over the map in terms of snow potential on the backside of the front with 0-6" possible in the Greens and Whites. Anecdotally, I think most places see an inch possible out of this set up, with 2-3" possible at elevation in the northern Greens and Whites. I usually "take the under" in cold-frontal-passage-snows. 

Multi-model comparison of six-hour snowfall totals following the cold front between 7PM and 1AM on Wednesday night.

The general model and forecast consensus for the possibility of 1" of accumulation with locally 2-3" possible at elevation is backed up by the National Weather Service (below) and our OpenSnow blend at select resorts. I will note that our blend is a bit on the ambitious side with 2-4" at Killington and 3-5" at Jay (as of the forecast very late Tuesday night). 

National Weather Service snowfall forecast.

Extended Forecast

Most major model guidance continues to suggest that we will remain in a period with above normal temperatures through the first week of March. Chances for precipitation remain low for the upcoming weekend with the potential for an offshore storm to produce some (light) rain into next Monday/Tuesday (4-5 March).

Thereafter, the ECMWF ensemble suggests that a mix of rain/snow is possible next Thursday/Friday (7-8 March) with maybe some snow thereafter into 11-13 March. Long story short, it's going to be potentially active, but we'll see a mix of rain and snow.  

ECMWF ensemble forecast for 24-hour precipitation, rain or snow, in central Vermont at Rutland through 13 March. Each grid box in the top panel represents a 24-hour precipitation amount from an individual ensemble member and I've annotated it based on whether it's likely going to be rain or snow.

Thanks for reading! The next DailySnow will likely be on Thursday morning, but it will be posted around 9AM EST. Rather than queuing up a post Wednesday night, I want to summarize any snowfall totals on Thursday morning and I'm still on the West Coast. 

-Dr. Jay

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About Our Forecaster

Jay Cordeira

Meteorologist

Jay Cordeira is an all-around outdoor enthusiast living and working among the lakes and mountains in New England. When he’s not in the classroom teaching the next generation of meteorologists, you can find him on the trails, rivers, lakes, slabs, and backcountry of the White Mountains.

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