Monday, March 10, 2014
Lets get right to the heart of the matter ... We are entering a period that could end up being the snowiest week of the season across the Northeast, and you should be making your plans to head for the hills. By this time next week, resorts from northern New Jersey to Maine will have anywhere from 18 to as much as 30 inches of new snow for you to play on.
Here’s how it is going to play out:
Tuesday will be a quiet day, and a very nice day on the slopes all across the Northeast. Temperatures will be seasonable, sunshine plentiful, and winds will be light. Combine that with smaller midweek crowds and you’ve got a winner.
Clouds will be on the increase from southwest to northeast later in the day Tuesday, setting the stage for a very snowy day across the mountains of the northeast on Wednesday.
One area of low pressure will take shape over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and then move up just west of the Appalachians to a position near Pittsburgh by Wednesday morning. Now that would be a bad track for snow lovers in the Northeast if it were to continue on up to the eastern Great Lakes, but because the upper support for that low will continue to pivot eastward toward the ocean, a second area of low pressure will form somewhere near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
The original low will weaken as it wanders up toward western New York, while the new low will feed off the relative warmth of the water and the upper support overhead, and become the primary circulation center for this event in the Northeast.
The secondary part of this storm will have a good supply of cold air to work with over the Northeast, but it won’t be as deep nor as cold as what we have seen the last couple of weeks. That will mean that coastal regions will see a mix of precipitation types from New York up to about Boston. North of there even the coast will see snow.
Because the storm will have its origin near the Gulf, this storm will be a juicy one, capable of producing heavy amounts of snow across much of the Northeast where it counts - in the hills. There is one factor that will limit the totals across far northern New England. The track of the storm will be off to the east-northeast, so amounts will taper down to 4 to 6 inches once you get north of roughly Route 2 in Maine and New Hampshire. The North Conway region, as well as the mountains of western Maine up to Sunday River will pick up 6 to 10 inches, with the Lakes region of central New Hampshire in line for 8 to 12.
In the wake of Wednesday’s storm, a colder air mass will be drawn southward into the region, and the establishment of that colder air will set the stage for the next storm, which will also form near the Gulf before turning northeast for a run up the coast. The timing on the storm at this point appears to be later Saturday and Sunday, although that could change due to the fact that the upper air support for that system is somewhere up over Alaska as I write this post.
The weekend system looks like it will be a Miller “A” type storm, one whose primary comes up east of the Appalachians and continues up the coast toward the Maritimes. As a storm that comes from the Gulf breeding grounds, it should also be carrying a ton of moisture, and the potential exists for a snowfall that will be greater than what the midweek storm produces. Early indications are that the low will track more northeasterly than the midweek storm, so the far northern resorts should do better with the second event.
After that storm departs, the jet stream set up looks favorable for slightly colder than normal temperatures to be dominant through at least the middle of the month, which should sustain packed powder surface and set things up very nicely for the President’s Day holiday.
So, here comes a parade of storms that will produce multiple powder days, boost trail counts, cover some of the frozen granular spots that have been part of the landscape for a few weeks now, and build up base depths for the stretch run of the season.
Here are a few special events on the slopes over the upcoming weekend: Saddleback has its "skin up and ski down" Mountain Challenge Saturday, while Sunday River celebrates White Out Weekend.Tweet
As The Skiing Weatherman, Herb Stevens has been the go-to guy for snow conditions for skiers and riders for more than 25 years, first on televisions stations up and down the East Coast, and now on newspaper-related web sites. A lifetime New England skier, Herb travelled the world as a caddy on the PGA Tour for five years before launching his career as a meteorologist. After one year at WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I., he became one of the original on-camera meteorologists at The Weather Channel, and later was chief meteorologist at WNYT-TV in Albany, N.Y. While at WNYT, Herb pioneered a weekly on-snow ski report, which later became his full-time job as The Skiing Weatherman.