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  1. #1

    Facebook book Matt weather forecaster

    SATURDAY 2/8 MAJOR WIND HOLD RIS
    https://m.facebook.com/groups/252514958745258?view=info
    Northeast Skiology Group
    As the Friday storm has strengthened in the models, so Northeast Skiology Group the wind risk behind it unfortunately, but this won't be a widespread event, and it likely won't affect the entire day.



    Winds will pick up in the Catskills late in the ski day on Friday and probably do cause some lift closures, but since the risk is primarily after 2 p.m. currently, that will not qualify as our risk is determined by a substantial loss of terrain from single lifts for 2+ hours.

    Saturday morning is where the risk is primarily in N-NH and N-ME, and winds should lighten up as the day progresses, so the risk there is primarily before 11 a.m. unless timing changes.

    The S-VT risk is from the Mohawk Valley Wind funnel with west winds streaming down the valley into S-VT. The risk there appears to start around open and winds will probably pick up until a peak at somewhere around 1 p.m. So don't expect closed lifts to open back up as the direction should be consistent, and the winds will be as well. Being a weekend following a storm event will likely cause these resorts to try as hard as they can to keep lifts open. Although I believe some wind holds will happen, it may be possible to piece together the terrain on alternative lifts. Crowds will also quickly thin out following major closures, but only after a mad rush to alternative lifts happens, and then the frustration will kick in. So grab a hot coco or an early lunch and soak up the broken dreams of skiers and riders on those alternative lifts a bit later.

    Jay Peak stands out on its own because it often over-performs the modeled winds on their north side, namely the Flyer and the Tram. They have a natural wind funnel there, and some of the same geographical features that help them pick up orographic lift enhanced snow also helps to blast those two lifts. I don't expect Bonnaventure or Jet to go down though, and frequent Jay skiers and riders know the drill. This will leave some extra freshies for those that work a little to earn their turns whether


    t means looping back with the help of Metro, or a short walk to drop in the north side, or skinning up to the summit for the extreme terrain. Winds look roughly consistent throughout the day primarily from the WNW. It's borderline and could easily go either way.
    Northeast Skiology Group from Facebook
    Last edited by ScottySkis; Feb 6, 2020 at 12:15 PM.

  2. #2
    THU-FRI STORM UPDATE #7: Ice
    As always, ice forecasts (freezing rain) are often inexact, and the disagreement among NWS Albany, NWS Burlington, and NWS Portland should demonstrate that here. Albany sees a major ice storm in the southern ADK's and S-VT, but NWS Burlington is predicting way more sleet, and NWS Portland is even lower with the freezing rain. Some areas likely pick up 1/2" of freezing rain, and this will likely be somewhere south of Killington's latitude. The further south you go, the more likely there will be at least a period of rain. The bottom line here is that at all ski areas between Killington and Mount Snow, I would expect delays and potentially very problematic surface conditions on Friday.

    Groomers will need to tear that stuff up to ski on, and the changeover will happen after open in these areas so it's ill-timed. Lifts will also likely need de-icing, and those problems could go even further south. It's going to be an operational challenge in these areas to open lifts and maybe do a progressive open with late grooming, but not all will bother, especially if there is still freezing rain falling. Once things change to sleet you're in the clear though as the next step will likely be snow.

    N-VT will changeover generally before open or by around 10 a.m., and likely from just sleet. N-NY should have changed over to snow before open, and likely from sleet with the exception of possibly Gore and West.

    W-NY and C-NY change over to snow around open. S-VT and S-NY change over to snow around noon, with S-NY changing more directly from rain to snow. W-MA should change over nearer 2 p.m. or so.

    Snow may not reach any of NH or ME ski areas by the end of the ski day, though there will be very plentiful areas of sleet in some of the northern areas of these states.

  3. #3
    THU-FRI STORM UPDATE #8: What's Left
    Jus the latest NWS map showing what's left. Seems that some places received as many as 6" on the first part and this map leaves out what happened before now, so it didn't in fact trim anything noticeably. They are however curiously light in parts of S-VT and S-NH. Keep in mind that there is a lot of sleet expected to fall around that yellow 6"-8" area in New England as well as some freezing rain. The NAM3K simulated radar is attached covering 8 p.m. tonight through all of Friday. Don't try to exactly pin-point each location, things won't likely be perfectly exact, but it will give you a good general picture of a certain area.

  4. #4
    MONDAY STORM UPDATE #2: Widespread 3"-6"
    This is a pretty straightforward storm. It's just a weak low pressure system traveling through the area with a nice large area of mostly light snow. The snow is going to be mostly concentrated on the mountains, and the majority of the expected snow will fall before open on Monday. Attached is the NAM3K simulated radar from 6 p.m. Sunday through 6 p.m. Monday as well as the latest snowfall stitch from the NWS. Note that there are some additional small amounts from earlier on Sunday and parts of Tuesday included in this. Since 6" is expected, this qualified as a "Storm", and also as a "powder day".

    Temperatures in some of these areas are going to be marginal at the surface, but this is the type of storm that can snow somewhat above freezing and no freezing rain or sleet is expected. There's a chance that W-NY gets a changeover to rain, but it's borderline for those resorts.

    The main area of snow should reach W-NY by about 9 p.m. on Sunday, the western edge of New England by 2 a.m. Tuesday, and a few hours later overspread all tracked resorts. Most of the accumulating snow should be past us by open on Monday, but some additional snow may add at a very light pace through the end of the day across VT and N-NH primarily.

    So who looks the best in this system? Currently, Belleayre does with about 8" including a smattering from Sunday or Tuesday, followed by Bromley, Stratton, and Mount Snow and maybe Killington.

    No wind issues are expected.

  5. #5
    There was a slight over-performance of this storm. Attached is the NWS snowfall totals through 7 a.m. inclusive of the last 24 hours as well as the radar from 9 a.m. It's quite possible there may be 10" by the end around Berkshire East, and yet it doesn't appear anyone is there??? Plattekill and the rest of the Catskills also made out pretty good, and S-VT including Bromley, Stratton and Mount Snow. Mohawk Mountain in NE Connecticut also did nicely in this storm. It is possible that when things lighten up the snow changes to a light mist from approximately south of the Albany latitude, but this storm did make up nicely for the deficit from the previous one in S-NY, W-MA, and S-VT.

  6. #6
    MONDAY STORM POSTMORTEM (Full Storm)
    We have a lot of low ceilings today and poor visibility. I can't tell from webcams if there is actual freezing fog/mist, but I suspect there is some in VT and NH. Killington on the North Ridge is shown. It is snowing in parts however with Stowe already picking up nearly an inch since morning with big fat flakes, and there should be a nice little burst after midnight as the trail end of a cold front gives the northern areas a swipe. I broke down the NWS snowfall analysis into the last 24 and 48 hours to show what happened since yesterday at 7 a.m. and the whole storm minus this remaining light moisture. Not a bad little storm, in fact these sleeper Monday powder days with no one on the slopes are some of the most beautiful days there are.

    So 3" of accumulation looks likely to me from Bolton Valley and north by tomorrow morning, with maybe 1"-2" in the Northern ADK's, Sugarbush and MRG, and the NW half of the Presidential range. Those are the types of days I love to rip early groomed terrain on first chair, but be wary of natural terrain with sharks because 2" can hide some bad ones at times, but only from your eyes.

  7. #7
    THURSDAY STORM UPDATE #3: Time to Pick The Line
    I'm pretty happy with model agreement now and there was a bit of a shift back south since yesterday evening with the all-snow line. Included is the ECMWF 1-hour precipitation intensity loop covering 4 p.m. Wednesday through 9 a.m. Friday, the NWS snowfall forecast covering the entire event, and snowfall and ice maps from the ECMWF for the same time frames.

    This storm will have a pretty tight gradient from rain to all snow with some freezing rain and sleet in-between. The motion of the storm will cause these areas to stay rather stationary for the majority of the front-end of the storm, so some isolated large accumulations of freezing rain may occur, and also potentially over 1" of sleet in some areas. The heaviest snow will be immediately over the change-over line, and hunting this bonus pow could result in less than optimal conditions with a small shift, but you should know by 7 a.m. who the winners and losers are in the powder hunt.

    All Snow Line: It appears to be roughly Bromley/Stratton in VT, and Pat's Peak in NH. Holiday Valley in W-NY and Greek Peak in C-NY appears to be just north of the border in the all snow line as well. The most snow should fall at these places and just north if models stay consistent. If you want to be safer, drive 25-50 miles further north where confidence is much higher of all snow. If this line doesn't shift, the biggest totals should top out around 8"-10" somewhere between Okemo and Stratton. There will be plenty of others on the front end just within this all snow line that get 6"-8" or so.

    Trouble Areas: All of S-NY and MA appear to be primarily an ice storm followed by a warm-up and dry out in the morning, so it may be possible to get some dry turns in spring conditions after 11 a.m. or so, and the day should get progressively drier and not re-freeze until after close. I am worried about Mount Snow in this one receiving an ice storm and staying frozen. They need this boundary to shift south by a tad.

    Back-end Snow: There's a frontal boundary along the trough that has a decent amount of moisture with it, and it probably survives long enough to drop some measurable lake effect and orographic lift enhanced snow at the usual suspects. The ECMWF model is pretty bad at picking this up, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some totals of up to 6" in N-VT and off the lakes between close Thursday and open on Friday. So places like Holiday Valley, Kissing Bridge, Greek Peak, McCauley, Snow Ridge, Titus as well as N-VT should get at least 3" on the back end. N-NH and N-ME probably top off at 3" on the high end on the back-end.

    NWS Snowfall Map Critique: NWS Albany seems a little south with their all snow line producing extra snow in S-NY, W-MA, and far S-VT. NWS Binghampton appears to be cheating Bristol and Greek Peak with a little less snow, especially if these are big fluffy flakes as I would expect in this setup. NWS Portland sometimes paints with a broad brush and may be missing some enhancement in the bonus zone between Pat's Peak and Gunstock, and the all snow line seems a little too far south. I expect adjustments to all of these. NWS Burlington may be a little low on the front end, especially in their section of S-VT, but they tend to lag on producing back-end numbers, so the storm total will almost definitely be higher, and I can definitely see some resorts along the Spine up to Jay Peak reporting 10" in total from this.

    Wind Hold Risk: None expected on Thursday, but Friday there will be some risk in N-NH and N-ME as well as Jay Peak, with maybe some early morning short-term holds in far S-VT that wouldn't qualify for a warning. I'll create a Friday Wind Hold map later. Friday will be overall a breezy day.

  8. #8
    THURSDAY STORM UPDATE #5: Wind Warning Canceled, No Other Changes Except NWS Snowfall Forecasts
    These updates often build upon previous updates to some extent, so it may be helpful to read the previous two if you haven't been following as I sometimes leave out detail, but I'll rehash everything from #4 again here. Attached is the latest NWS snowfall forecast stitch, the NAM3K simulated radar from 4 p.m. today through 9 a.m. on Friday, and the ECMWF snowfall, which I am including to help people both see the difference in actual forecasting vs. models, and it also helps show our Canadian friends where the most snow will fall, but take note this model lacks the resolution to show higher amounts on the peaks so the model totals are often lower than forecasts for larger mountains.

    Wind Issues: None expected, or at least nothing substantial. Yesterday winds looked to be on the lower end of borderline on Friday and they stepped down a notch and that removes virtually all of my concern.

    All-Snow Line: This will pretty much be right on the border of MA and VT/NH. This looks dialed into me. It's possible that Mount Snow gets a bit of sleet of course, but that's not a big deal.

    Mixing Resorts: Berkshire East and Wachusett probably are mostly snow with some sleet, and possibly a bit of freezing rain and possibly a bit of misting in the afternoon, but I don't expect any issues. The Catskills probably get mostly freezing rain, but it should primarily end by open and then the afternoon should warm. This might require a late groom to fix, but it may stay dry enough for the day to be more than good so long as they don't have problems with the ice.

    Timing: The bulk of the snow will be on the ground at open, and the front-end of the storm exits New England around Noon with some mostly very light snow for most of the rest of the day until the front sags through with some instability form the trough. There will be another round of lake effect and orographic lift enhanced snow mostly after close. The orographic lift stuff will affect all of the northern areas, but should taper off by midnight, so I don't expect additional totals much above 4" at the most. Lake effect will be pumping decently. Holiday Valley and Kissing Bridge should make out well on the back-end, and even Greek Peak might get lucky by having bands set up over them.

    NWS Snowfall Forecasts: They may be a little light on the mountains of VT and NH. The weaker storm will not enhance as much with elevation changes, but S-VT will clearly be the front-end bonus zone. Bromley, Stratton, and Mount Snow are likely the bullseye. Crotched in S-NH likely benefits the most there. The more northern areas will pick up maybe half their snow however from the back-end, so it's much more of a 2-ski day event for them. I'm pretty sure most resorts in NY, VT, NH, and ME report 4"-8" by Friday morning with the exception of S-NY due to ice, and W-NY where they have upside potential from Lake Effect.

  9. #9
    TUE-WED STORM UPDATE #1: Starting Early
    I'm going to start covering this one a little early since it's a holiday week for many, but I'm also going to keep this brief. Models don't agree perfectly on track though they are pretty damn close for this range. At a minimum, the finer details will change, but big shifts of a couple hundred miles or how strong it becomes are not out of the question. The ECMWF, GFS and CAN models are shown here for essentially the same time. A changeover to rain at some point almost everywhere is still most likely, but this may be only transitional between more substantial periods of snow, or it may be worse.

    Model biases seem clear at this range. The ECMWF tends to dig troughs deeper and deepen lows advancing out of the west too much. This can produce a more northerly track and a stronger fetch of warm moist air. The GFS at this range has a fast bias, so it's about 6 hours ahead of the ECMWF, but in this case that doesn't seem to mean much as the differential is small and there aren't a lot of moving pieces coming together where the exact timing matters more. The CAN isn't as good of a model as the other two, but I use it as a tie-breaker of sorts (not that simple of course). I'm really only looking for track and temperatures, but the precipitation intensity maps are easier to understand and inclusive of the net effects of those elements.

    This storm is going to get squeezed between high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico and low pressure over the Hudson Bay. These will work together to move the storm mostly due east, but it will eventually curve north. The big question now is when it curves north. When it curves determines where the snow and rain falls.

    I like to remain optimistic, and this doesn't look terrible for much of the area (widespread Christmas boilerplate was likely far worse), but I'm also a realist and so I'm going pretty far north just to be safe. If things turn for the worse I may auction off the spare bedrooms to the highest bidder.

  10. #10
    TUE-WED STORM UPDATE #2: The Trend Is Not Good
    The ECMWF's more northerly track is winning, and that's not the one we wanted to win. The tracks of the two main medium range models are now quite similar, but that's not to say that this can't shift south or even further north, but the trend is presently north. Troublesome impacts look like they could start Tuesday morning in W-NY and reach NH by close. The trailing cold front should come through overnight. As always, this is just an update as to how things look now. Things will not start getting dialed in until Saturday.

    This is not a very strong storm. These 6-hour precipitation intensity maps can be misleading at times. A surface low of around 1000mb is not strong, however there is at least one upper level low and a trough involved, and it appears on the current track generally less than 1" of frozen and unfrozen water will fall in the Northeast. The closer CT you go in general, the less the impact will be.

    Under the current model solution your best bet for all snow is north of the St. Lawrence. Le Massif, Mont Sainte-Anne, and Tremblant potentially look good, but they are not necessarily fully safe from some mixing. Areas that might net a base are N-NY, N-NH, and N-ME, but not necessarily N-VT. N-ME is the safest in the Northeast due to the possibility that cold air damming could keep precipitation frozen, though that doesn't necessarily mean good, rather it means they are the most likely to see improvement in the models.


    TUE-WED STORM UPDATE #2: The Trend Is Not Good
    The ECMWF's more northerly track is winning, and that's not the one we wanted to win. The tracks of the two main medium range models are now quite similar, but that's not to say that this can't shift south or even further north, but the trend is presently north. Troublesome impacts look like they could start Tuesday morning in W-NY and reach NH by close. The trailing cold front should come through overnight. As always, this is just an update as to how things look now. Things will not start getting dialed in until Saturday.

    This is not a very strong storm. These 6-hour precipitation intensity maps can be misleading at times. A surface low of around 1000mb is not strong, however there is at least one upper level low and a trough involved, and it appears on the current track generally less than 1" of frozen and unfrozen water will fall in the Northeast. The closer CT you go in general, the less the impact will be.

    Under the current model solution your best bet for all snow is north of the St. Lawrence. Le Massif, Mont Sainte-Anne, and Tremblant potentially look good, but they are not necessarily fully safe from some mixing. Areas that might net a base are N-NY, N-NH, and N-ME, but not necessarily N-VT. N-ME is the safest in the Northeast due to the possibility that cold air damming could keep precipitation frozen, though that doesn't necessarily mean good, rather it means they are the most likely to see improvement in the models.

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