It has been a slow start to the Winter in the Northeast so far with really only one snowstorm so far right before Thanksgiving if you don’t include the freak storm from October. The snow from that storm has already washed away. There hasn’t been very much cold air either for the snow guns to do their work in created a base. Things will be changing this week as colder air will move in for a while behind a cold front, and we may even see a little snow.
Currently the cold front is stalled near the Canadian border. Waves of rain have been pushing up ahead of it since yesterday, and that will continue into Wednesday. In Northern Vermont and New Hampshire we should see a change over to snow for the higher terrain tonight, but only expecting and inch or two of snow. Here is the current snowcover from the GFS forecast model. As you can see it is not a pretty picture.
As we head into Wednesday night the cold front will begin to push East while a piece of energy down near Georgia begins to ride up the East coast along the front. These situations are what get the snow lovers excited in the Northeast. The trick is what is exactly is the path of the storm as it moves up the coast because a shift East or West of 50-100 miles makes a big difference.
As this storm moves up into the Northeast it will drag in plenty of cold air to turn the rain over to snow. Currently it looks like snow for sure in Northeastern PA, Southeastern NY, and Massachusettes, but that does not include the open ski resorts in the Northeast. What the models are trying to agree on is how far North the snow pushes into New England. Here is what the GFS model is showing.
and here is what the European model is showing…
The European is obviously stronger and closer to the coast with the storm which means a better chance for big snow in New Hampshire and Maine. The GFS is currently showing around 3-6 inches from the Southern tip of Vermont into South/Central New Hampshire, and Southern Maine. The Euro is a bit further North and would bring 6-12 inches to the resorts. Central and Northern VT looks to miss out on most of this but Mt. Snow, Stratton, Waterville, Pat’s Peak, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf could all see a nice little storm.
In the wake of this storm there will be plenty of cold air to fire up the snow guns across all of the Northeast. Highs on Saturday for the mountains will only be in the 20′s. The temperatures will stay near the seasonal average through next week, so nighttime temps will be cold enough for continued snowmaking. There is another weak cold front that will push through on Saturday and could bring another little dusting of an inch or two to the mountains of New England. Here is the snowcover map updated through Saturday.
As you can see things are looking a little bit whiter across the Northeast. This map only shows a couple of inches on the ground but this is from the GFS from last night that kept the big snows on Thursday South of the mountains. If the storm does come further North than the snowcover across New Hampshire and Maine should be much deeper. We need to continue to watch the track of the storm over the next 2 days.
Next week looks to be quieter across the Northeast with cooler air in place. As we head into the following weekend things look to get a little more interesting. Storm activity will begin to increase along the West Coast next week and as those storms move across the country they will bring more chances for some bigger snow events in the Northeast by the 16th and beyond. There are a couple of storms to watch for that weekend.
This Winter is not expected to be as cold as the past couple of Winters in the Northeast because of less blocking over the Arctic that would send the cold air South, and over Greenland that would lock in the cold. But that can be good for snowfall as the jetstream rides between cold and warm air masses, so if there is lots of battling between cold and warm in Northeast this Winter it could mean lots of storms. It only has to be 32 degrees to snow and some storms can create their own cold, so even if we have some warmer periods this Winter we can still have plenty of snow.
Last week the final Winter forecasts came out from Accuweather.com and Weatherbell.com. Here are the snowfall forecasts for the Winter in the Northeast. They both show a big year for the Northeast, a lot of the reasons being what I just mentioned. BA