Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bringing Back The Snow Cover In the Northeast (You're Welcome, Skiers)

It's a start: One to five inches of snow in the forecast
for much of northern New York, Vermont and New
Hampshire. Lake efect snows will drop more
than six inches (in yellow and orange)
Source: National Weather Service, South
Burlington, Vermont 
This really is shaping up to be a challenging winter in the Northeast for skiers, riders and snowmobile enthusiasts, but we are at least temporarily going to find deepening snow cover over the next several days for you winter outdoorsy types.

An Alberta Clipper was bringing widespread light snow to the Midwest, where winter weather advisories are up for a wide area from Michigan to West Virginia.

The clipper is on the move east, which has prompted other winter weather advisories in the Adirondacks of New York, the northern half of Vermont away from the Champlain Valley and much of New Hampshire.  

In those places, expect two to five inches of snow, witih one to three inches in the Champlain Valley.

It's not much, but it's a start. The summit of Mount Mansfield, Vermont only has 11 inches of snow cover at the moment, which is paltry for this time of year.  Burlington,  Vermont has only had 12.1 inches of snow this winter which is 18.6 inches below what they've should have gotten by this time of year.

The big winners in this Alberta Clipper, other than the snow belt regions near the Great Lakes, is northern and eastern Maine. 

The clipper is going to fade as it gets into New England in favor of a nor'easter that will bomb out east of Maine. By "bomb" I mean it will develop very, very fast -- explosively.

The storm will be too far north and east by the time it blossoms to slam most of New England. But it will be close enough to Maine and much of the Maritime provinces of Canada a good 6 to 14 inches of new snow at least.

Meanwhile, the weather and wind direction is ideal for a couple days of pretty strong lake effect snows in western New York. Up to a foot fell yesterday in some areas, and another two feet is likely in spot, like the Tug Hill Plateau not far from Watertown New York.

The air flow will vary in the lake effect zone, so a wider area is going to be affected than is often the case. That's because the shifting winds will draw the snowbands to the northeast for awhile. Often,but not always, the heaviest lake effect snow falls south of Buffalo, New York. Today, with a southwesterly component to the winds, Buffalo itself will get in the act.

Later, by tomorrow, the snow will shift to the suburbs south of Buffalo, and off of Lake Ontario, will shift south of Watertown, New York.

Next, there are signs there might be another fairly substantial storm in the Northeast Saturday. It's still hard to stay whether it's going to be mostly snow or a mix, and where the heaviest precipitation might fall.

But it almost definitely won't be a super warm storm like last weekend, with the possible exception of far southeastern New England.

And it will stay relatively cold, so any snow that falls today through next Sunday will mostly stay on the ground well into next week.

Meanwhile, the western United States, many ski resorts having been getting lots and lots of nice powder so far this winter. It looks like that region will get even more bursts of snow over the next couple of weeks.

I guess it's the Rockies and Sierras turn to get a good winter sports year.

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