POWDER ALERT- 9-18 INCHES FOR NEW ENGLAND FRESHIES! THE RIDGE IN THE WEST MIGHT BUCKLE IN THE LONG TERM OUTLOOK
Summary 12/11/2017 AM report- Forecaster-Powderchaser Steve
While the West stays dry, the East is the place to chase this week and perhaps again late this weekend into early next week. There are 3 storms on the radar with the strongest occurring Tuesday/Wednesday with some teasing late this week turning up the snow gods again Sunday/Monday. The coldest air of the season will happen on Wednesday with wind chills at negative 10-20 degrees in many areas (Strong winds). Most of New England will benefit with no skunk in the next 2 days.
Short Term Forecast
Light snow is falling currently over much of northern New England this morning (Jay Peak reported 4-6 inches since midnight) with the real goods expected Tuesday/Wednesday. Things will clear out late this morning over most of New England before the next system moves in on Tuesday.
Heavy snow will be falling over much of New York State with up to a foot expected near Oswego (Lake effect likely), and up to 20 inches in some spots of Pennsylvania late Monday into Tuesday. Models also depict heavy snow for the Albany area (Willard Mountain or Maple Valley). The leading edge of snow reaches Vermont just before daybreak on Tuesday. Start chasing early!
Ski resorts in New England get the highest snow totals from Tuesday morning through early Wednesday morning. “Every resort in New England is going to grab at least 5-10 inches from this storm with some reporting 12-15 inches by Wednesday.” The highest snow totals from Tuesday morning to early Wednesday will be found in central or southern Vermont, central New Hampshire, and a good portion of Maine from Sunday River through perhaps Sugarloaf (Wildcard). I suspect the peak snowfall will occur during the day Tuesday into early evening. Snow may pick up in the northern mountains of Vermont late Tuesday or Wednesday with a strong cold front and NW winds putting them into double digits by Wednesday afternoon. Light snow lingers into Thursday AM up north.
In Vermont, Expect 1-3 inches for first chair Tuesday and 4-8 inches by the time the lifts stop spinning. Chase highlights might include resorts from Killington and areas south (Mount Snow, Okemo, Bromley, Stratton). Moderate snow will be falling up north (Whiteface, Stowe, Jay Peak) with higher amounts possible on Wednesday (Keep reading). New Hampshire and western Maine will see moderate to heavy snow from lift opening through early Tuesday evening. Most resorts along I-93 (Waterville Valley) into North Conway (Wildcat) and western Maine (Sunday River) will see a fresh 4-8 inches during the day. Light snow will continue to fall Tuesday night so most resorts will be reporting 6-10 inches by Wednesday morning. Sugarloaf is our wildcard pick (Moisture will be steady by late Tuesday morning but higher amounts may be found just to the south). Bottom Line: Storm ski Tuesday especially last chair, and reap some light freshening that happens for first chair Wednesday (Look for new rope drops). The Good: Snow starts out dense for base building and ends light on Wednesday. The Bad: Strong winds Wednesday will produce drifting or variable conditions in exposed terrain. This can also be your best friend with good pockets of deep snow.
Very cold air slams into New England on Wednesday with NW winds gusting 20-30 MPH (Wind chills -20 at the summits). Enhanced orographic snowfall is likely for resorts in northern Vermont (Jay Peak, White Face New York, Stowe) that will offer an opportunity to chase powder at resorts further north. An additional 4-7 inches will fall on Wednesday. Light snow continues in the northern mountains of Vermont into Thursday morning (1-3 additional for lift openings). Total snowfall in the northern Mountains may range from 9-18 inches by Thursday morning. “Don’t forget your balaclavas and your warmest clothes as exposed skin will be very prone to frostbite on Wednesday/Thursday.”
Vermont rental anyone? My friend Mike Gilman has a swag house in Peru Vermont available close to many ski resorts. You can find the info at https://www.vermontmountainhouse.com
Below: Total snowfall through Thursday morning for New England.
The second storm in the models this weekend takes a coastal route missing most ski areas (Cape cod might get grazed). Another storm system takes aim at New England late Sunday/Monday. This system may start out warmer and finish with decent cold air at the tail end producing a moderate event for most mountains early next week (It’s too far out to forecast with accuracy).
THE WEST? Models show the ridge trying to buckle perhaps as early as the the upcoming weekend. Its likely that some systems may return to the west especially in the 3rd week of December. The GFS ensembles are more bullish showing a higher chance of snow for the Sierra extending into the central Rockies (Keeps the Pacific Northwest dry) while the Euro is less optimistic. Moderate snow is likely in the Pacific Northwest this weekend (BC included) with some teasing in the northern Rockies (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana). The pattern may shift further south during the December 22 timeframe. With models disagreeing its not certain. At least there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon!
Image: Some hope on the GFS for a pattern change beginning December 22nd (Pre teaser on the 16th is possible). GFS IS OPTIMIST
Image: Euro is less optimistic with strong high retreating slightly over the west
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