Last week we were watching for a storm on Christmas Day for the Northeast resorts and another for this Tuesday. The Christmas storm never phased but the Northern system brought snow for most of the day to the Northeast resorts. The highest amounts were in Northern VT where Stowe picked up 10 inches of snow on the mountain. That was added to the 7 inches from the last two storms on Thursday and Friday to bring total 4 day accumulations to 17 inches.
It is about time that the mountains start to pick up some back to back accumulating snow storms. There has been plenty of cold air between the storms this week to make snow as well. The only problem we have is the track of the next storm moving in on Tuesday night. As usual the models have been tracking the storm further West with each run as we get closer to the storm. Last week they had the storm staying off the East Coast and now they have it coming straight up through the interior Northeast.
In order to hold the cold air in place we would like to see the high pressure in place be above the storm as it comes up the coast. Instead it will shift East off the mid-Atlantic coast as the storm pushes up to the West of it. The storm will have warm air with it from the South which will raise the snow levels and bring rain to most of the Northeast. There will be another wave coming across the Great Lakes phasing with the storm and advecting cold air into the storm. As the storm center reaches VT there will be heavy snow on the Western side but that is in Northeastern New York.
Here is the storm approaching Tuesday evening.
And here is the rain/snow line still holding in Northern VT for a start as snow.
Then as the storm center passes over VT the rain/snow line shifts North
You can see that it is snowing in most of New York and raining in the ski areas of VT, NH, & ME. As the cold air pushes into the backside of the storm the rain quickly changes to snow by Wednesday morning.
Here is a look at the Canadian model which shows the storm tracking a bit further East but the heavy snow stays right on the NY/VT border.
The storm is quick moving so the snow won’t last long once we see the changeover early on Wednesday. We could still see a quick 3-6 inches fall on the Northern mountains of VT and NH. The NWS was forecasting 6-10 inches at the base of Stowe this afternoon and 9-13 inches up top but the latest model runs this evening had the track of the storm a bit further West keeping the heaviest snow West. This storm is in the deep South as of Monday night so the track can still change. A slight shift back to the East and the heavy snow could push into VT.
The last few big storms have tracked up through the Great Lakes bringing all rain to the Northeast, so we were hoping this storm would stay just to the East and bring snow. Behind the storm there will be plenty of cold air funneling in to bring more great snowmaking temps. There are two clipper systems that will move through over the weekend, one on Friday night into Saturday and the other Sunday night into Monday. These systems could bring few inches each to the mountains.
There is a chance for another bigger storm next Tuesday but this storm could have a similar track as this week with a snow to rain scenario. To get the big cold storms to come up the coast we really need the NAO to go into its negative phase but right now it is forecasted to stay positive for the next 1-2 weeks. Behind the storm next Tuesday it looks like some of the coldest air of the season could push into the Northeast. That should be accompanied by more light snow events with the clippers coming through from Canada.
The long-range models or “fantasy charts” keep showing a big cold snow storm coming up the East Coast around the 7th of January. If we get the cold trough in the East the first week of January it will mean we could see better chances of bigger snow events. BA