Good morning everyone. There’s quite a bit to talk about today. Yesterday’s low pressure system has moved out to sea, and today will consist of a break from the precipitation we’ve been seeing this week. The Northeast will spend most of the day under an upper level ridge which will prevent any significant precipitation from falling. Many areas will see overcast skies and cool temperatures (40-50’s) as a low level deck of stratus clouds will act to reflect solar radiation. The weather would be decent for skiing today, but its hard to imagine there is still any good conditions after the rain we've seen the past couple of days. Things won’t improve tomorrow either, but there is the potential for the slopes to shape up this weekend and perhaps next week.
As the ridge New England is currently sitting under propagates from the region, an area of instability will move overhead and produce rain showers overnight tonight. For most areas, the rain should be over by the time of the morning commute. Areas of northern New Hampshire and Maine are expected to see a mix of lingering rain/snow showers from the morning on. The day time tomorrow would be messy for skiing, but there is the potential for Sunday River and Sugarloaf to see some snow later in the day that could improve the conditions for Friday.
After the rain and warm temperatures this week, many skiers/riders in New England are starting to give in to the fact that the season is coming to an end. Although this is a sad truth, there is the potential for some significant snow fall this weekend that could provide a few nice days at the mountain for next week. This will be a waiting game as we wait and see exactly what these approaching systems will do, but here is the current forecast.
After tomorrow’s expected weak disturbance, an area of low pressure will move southward into New England on Friday This area of low pressure will bring cooler air and snow showers. The accumulations aren’t expected to be anything crazy, but 1-3 inches by Friday night is better than nothing. Here are the National Weather Service predictions for snowfall by Friday night.
The snow showers for Friday night are expected to continue into the wee hours of Saturday for parts of Maine. This would mean the totals on the map above could be slightly higher for Sunday River and Sugarloaf by the start of the day on Saturday. So depending on how much snow we get, you may be able to get a decent day at the mountain on Saturday. I wouldn’t expect anything spectacular, but as many riders have been doing lately, I’m sure you could make the best out of what is there.
As high pressure moves into the region on Sunday, temperatures will warm up a bit with many areas seeing high temperatures in the upper 40’s - lower 50’s. I’d imagine the best runs at the mountain for that day would occur in the morning before the warm temperatures start to make the snow a bit on the slushy side. Depending on the coverage, you could make a decent day out of Sunday as well.
As of right now the GFS model is showing a coastal storm affecting the region on Sunday night/ Monday morning. Depending on what track it decides to take, this could be the storm that gives new life to some of the mountains in the Northeast (at least for a few days). Here is where the storm is projected to be on early Monday morning.
Image Courtesy of Tropicaltidbits.com
If the storm takes this exact track, there won’t be anything to get excited about for the resorts that still have good coverage. Although some of the mountains in Massachusetts may see some significant snow, many of these ski areas are only open on the weekends and have had extremely thin coverage lately. These areas wouldn't benefit too much from a storm like this.
However, something I’ve noticed about these coastal storms this season has been that they’ve been tracking more to the north of what the GFS model initially predicts. So being hopeful (and doing a bit of wishcasting) if the low pressure center of this storm tracks more to the north and passes directly over the Chatham, Massachusetts area (the elbow of Cape Cod), northern New England could get slammed with snow. If that happens, we could be looking at some solid days at the mountains next week to end the season. For now though, here is what the GFS has for 7 day snow fall totals (looking pretty decent for some areas).
I’ll keep an eye on that coastal storm today, and let everyone know the updates tomorrow morning. That’s all I have for today, have a great Wednesday!
Rob Megnia Graduate Student, Plymouth State University/New England Daily Snow
P.S. If you haven’t done so already, please take our end of the season survey, thanks!
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