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ScottySkis

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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
 
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ScottySkis

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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SUN-MON LIGHT EVENT
There's a weak low passing through Canada with first the trail end of a warm front passing through early Sunday, and then the trail end of a cold front passing through on Monday. This isn't expected to do much in the Northeast, but there is bonus snow potential in the northern areas as well as some light accumulations along the lakes. These weak systems can have wide variability from just flurries to maybe 4" of snow in places. The most recent NWS regional stitch through Monday at 7 p.m. is attached as well as the NAM3K covering all of Sunday through Monday at 7 a.m. The pre-open snow on Sunday is primarily what to keep your eyes on. This will be a bigger deal north of the St. Lawrence, but I would not be surprised to see over 3" at Snow Ridge and Jay Peak refresh the used snow through Monday.
 

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TUESDAY STORM UPDATE #3: Winter Still Mostly Winning
While the track of this storm was a losing battle to begin with, we've lucked out when it comes to strength and timing and as a result we can expect widespread snow on Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning the Northern areas as well as S-ME may well have remained all snow and all frozen. Since the bulk of the snow will fall during the Tuesday ski day, this is now being tracked as just a Tuesday storm. Attached is the ECMWF 1-hour precipitation intensity loop covering all of Tuesday as well as a snowfall map covering the whole event as well as maybe up to two inches here and there that may fall mostly tonight.

It will snow at some point at all tracked resorts on Tuesday. The only areas of concern are W-NY, C-NY, and S-NY with the potential of some very late in the ski day mixing in S-VT and W-MA. By open on Tuesday the snow will primarily be in NY, but by around noon it should be affecting most of New England. It will be a little warm on the trail end of the precip in W-NY and C-NY during Tuesday and possibly end with some light rain or drizzle. S-NY and W-MA may change over to other frozen forms of precip starting at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. based on this model run. Maybe in the last hour of the ski day this makes it into areas of S-VT, but it looks to be a great day there.

The warm sector of the storm will likely affect all of S-VT, S-NH and the rest of MA after 4 p.m., but temps should drop overnight below freezing and it's possible that only slight or isolated damage is done to conditions. Everyone should net some base out of this. Both Tuesday and Wednesday should be widely pretty good or great days.

NWS offices are starting to put out forecasts for this storm, but they are early and incomplete as of this moment. I would expect some 6"-8" totals forecasted generally in the hot spots with some extra enhancement on the Presidentials as well as the SE side of the ADK's and Tug Hill Plateau. Generally you should expect the highest totals somewhere around the Gore/Killington/Waterville/Abram latitude outside of mesoscale effects that may create some other winners.

Following this storm we actually stay in a pattern that will be mostly dry and primarily below freezing until almost the end of the month. Groomers should be widely excellent, and resorts will make good progress of topping off their terrain before snowmaking gets shut down for the season. While this group may be heavy with powder hunters and mogul and tree skiers, groomers are obviously the most popular form of terrain, and this is what families will be seeking on school break.
 

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TUESDAY STORM UPDATE #4: Nice Refresher, Maybe More, Some Ice & Wind
Although only only N-NY, N-NH and ME are expected to stay 100% snow in this system, on Tuesday you can expect all or most of the day to be snowy in S-V, S-NH, and W-MA as well. There will be some rain and non-snow frozen precip affecting many areas, but there won't be a lot of it, and much of it will happen overnight and after a re-freeze it will largely be of only minor consequence except for some natural terrain. There will however be some wind issues Tuesday as this warm front is a low level jet feeding moisture to the storm passing through Quebec with winds from the south to south east. I will share a map later on tonight with wind hold warnings. Wednesday may well have some isolated wind issues as well, however it's too far out to issue warnings for. It is also likely that there will be an impactful back-end event with both lake effect and orographic lift enhanced snow in the northern areas, possibly convective squalls. That too will be covered later. Attached is the NAM3K simulated radar covering all day Tuesday as well as the most recent NWS snowfall forecast stitch. I'm including the latest ECMWF snowfall map also to help show where it may snow more broadly, but the NWS typically does much better than the models at predicting snow.

Timing: Precip will start off at all tracked resorts outside of CT and RI as snow. By open the snow should have advanced generally to the NY/VT border and by noon impacting most of NH and ME. Precip will remain through the rest of the ski day in most areas, though it may be spotty in W-NY and C-NY sometime in the afternoon.

All Snow Areas: N-NY, N-VT, N-NH and ME resorts should stay all snow in this storm, however some may break freezing briefly in the evening. There should be some fresh snow Wednesday morning on natural terrain in N-VT and ME.

Changeover Areas: W-NY ad C-NY will have changed over to rain/drizzle sometime between open and noon depending on how far east the resort is. S-NY will experience a changeover first to freezing rain probably sometime around noon and eventually rain/drizzle before close. MA experiences a changeover starting around noon as well, but Berkshire East and Wachusett may stay snow until 1-2 p.m. and then freezing rain/drizzle. Generally speaking, S-VT and S-NH will likely experience more new snow than other types of precip. Parts of S-VT and S-NH may change over to freezing rain/drizzle around 2 p.m. and some may escape the changeover until after close. I don't expect a lot of damage as this isn't a super wet system, but it might create some slick spots on natural terrain where the snow is compacted like the troughs of moguls. This will negatively impact conditions most notably in W-NY, C-NY ad S-NY

NWS Snowfall: The ECMWF and NAM3K models are a bit more bullish on the prospects around the SE side of the Presidentials into ME around Mt. Abram and Shawnee Peak. Technically NWS Burlington is also adding in snow on the back-end of this storm for Wednesday, but it is barely measurable as they frequently start low, but I would expect back-end snow to be notable enough in some areas.
 

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TUESDAY 2/18 RISK OF MAJOR WIND HOLD
Winds will come primarily from the south to southeast at ground level. Areas of concern in NY will likely see wind holds by 11 a.m. or remain operating for the day. In VT, NH, and ME the threat will grow throughout the day. This is a light to moderate event as these things go.

Bear in mind that a resort confirms the warning here by losing easy access to 25% or more of terrain for 2+ hours due to a wind hold. Keep in mind that there is no lift redundancy at some resorts for certain parts of their terrain, however others have fixed grip chairs that they may run giving potentially even full access but we consider taking two lifts to lap terrain normally accessed with one lift to have lost that easy access. Needing to traverse long distances or uphill also counts as having lost that easy access, but bear in mind that for some who are powder hunters, this is actually a blessing as it helps to keep the goods untouched. Clearly enclosed lifts are generally the most threatened, and then open detachable chairlifts (high speed lifts) are the next most threatened type of lift. Fixed grip lifts do at times go on wind hold, especially lifts that access the summits.

These risks are calculated by wind speed, direction, lift configuration, type of lifts, and perceived resort sensitivity to holds. I do consider the surrounding geography as well, however I am not perfectly familiar with most mountains and their unique weaknesses with wind from every single angle. Generally I do not over-warn on winds.

On Wednesday there may be some issues with wind from the WNW with the primary areas of concern being S-VT, N-NH, and N-ME however it is too early to put out a map for that.
 

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TUESDAY STORM UPDATE #5: Warmer and More WInd
There's been a bit of a shift in the NAM3K to a slightly warmer phase to this storm. This will have little impact on Thursday's ski day due to timing, but it's possible that precip transitions to drizzle and light rain in some additional areas. It was always expected that for a number of hours after close many of the resorts that stayed all snow would break freezing, and now they look a couple of degrees warmer with the precip hanging on a bit later. Winds now also look worse in N-VT and N-NH on Tuesday and I've updated the wind hold map accordingly. I've included the latest NWS snowfall stitch as well as the NAM3K simulated radar covering all of Tuesday and Wednesday, and the latest ECMWF snowfall map which seems heavy.

Despite the warmer solution all snow is expected until at least 2 p.m. in N-NY and Northern New England. The last two hours could see some changeover to sleet and freezing rain in N-NY, S-VT, and S-NH. W-NY starts the day as rain. C-NY transitions to rain around 11 a.m.. S-NY probably flips to sleet or a form of rain around 12 p.m. W-MA likely flips to sleet around 1 p.m. and then freezing rain.

Keep in mind that the NWS snowfall forecast includes both this front end snow as well as some back-end snow from lake effect and orographic lift. I don't expect any totals of over 5" during the Tuesday ski day with most areas that are all snow receiving 3"-4" in that time frame.. Don't be surprised to see some dry slotting short N-NY and N-VT during Tuesday.. N-NH and ME will be the focus of the front end snow, and it will continue for a while after close, but some mixing is possible during the warm sector.

Wednesday will bring the back-end with a re-freeze. Accumulations should be light until around open when some enchancement happens with both. This is only a light back-end event with totals likely less than 6". Not all of this seems to be in the NWS forecast yet.

I've included the latest ECMWF snowfall map despite the fact that I much favor the NAM3K at this range. I believe it is unlikely that there will be such a large area of +6" snowfall due to the dry slotting and potential for mixing in these areas.

As far as winds go, see yesterday's post for the timing as that is going to be generally the same. Winds however are being modeled even stronger in N-NY, N-Vt, and N-NH, which is why I upped the warnings in N-VT and N-NH. I'll work on Wednesday momentarily.
 

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Middletown NY
TUESDAY STORM UPDATE #7: The Back-end and Wind
We have some more snow falling tonight with some notable accumulations in N-NH and ME after today's close, but winds will be a widespread issue unfortunately. There may be a brief respite in the morning allowing resorts to rescue people who were stranded on their lifts overnight, but winds will pick up to near full force before noon and they are being modeled a bit stronger than yesterday so I have updated the wind hold map in N-VT and N-NH taking several up a notch. There will be some notable lake effect, but the biggest accumulations will miss tracked resorts with the heaviest amounts, but expect some refreshers all the way out to Greek Peak over the next two days. A nice burst is also modeled to hit N-VT around open, mostly focused on the Spine up to Jay Peak, but my thoughts are that Thursday may be generally the best day to hunt that snow by lift and there may be another streamer overnight to add a couple inches in places as well.

Attached is the NAM3K simulated radar covering 9 p.m. tonight through 7 a.m. on Friday and also the latest NWS snowfall stitch.

I do believe NWS Burlington is underplaying the snow potential in N-VT and also N-NY outside of the hot spot shown on Jay Peak. I would expect Whiteface, Titus, Smuggs, Stowe, Bolton Valley all to get maybe another 3" or more over the next two days, but these events can be hit or miss. Also note that forecasts for lake effect snow are almost always more isolated than shown, but there is clearly potential of persistent bands where the higher totals are likely to confirm. I would expect some accumulations at tracked resorts in W-NY, C-NY, and at Snow Ridge and McCauley.
 

ScottySkis

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TUESDAY STORM POSTMORTEM
The first image is the NWS Snowfall Analysis which is built from ground measurements and radar estimates, and then interpolated. As always, this will not show the higher amounts measured at many resorts. The second image is the last NWS stitch of various regional offices' snowfall forecasts. Note that some of the lake effect is still left to come as well as maybe 1" in some isolated places in N-NY and N-VT. This was of course an over-performer in S-VT, NH, and ME, but dry slotting and the back-end not delivering caused it to underperform in N-NY and N-VT. Temperature profiles were not as warm as expected which allowed it to snow more further south. Most tracked resorts added to their base in this storm.

Wind holds on Tuesday seem to have verified quite well the percentages given. On Wednesday there was a slight over-warn on the high end, and a slight under-warn on the lower end. Pico, Cannon, and Loon all seem to have maintained over 75% of their terrain for the majority of the ski day. I do not like over-warning on the high end. Wind direction had a lot to do with this, but there is a possibility that wind holds were not reported on the websites of some of those three (not every resort updates lift statuses, especially in the afternoon).

As far as conditions go, they are largely very good to great and glades and natural terrain is open all over the Northeast. We could still use a nice coastal storm to light some areas further south, but NY and New England is probably 95% open currently.
 

ScottySkis

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WED-THU STORM UPDATE #2: Big Storm, Mixed Results
We have pretty good model agreement among the ECMWF and GFS for the storm right now, but that doesn't mean that things won't change. The track of the main storm could be largely influenced by the track of the weak meandering upper level low that is going to phase with the trough dipping through the Great Plains and form a giant storm. Right now this looks more like a cutter that moves up into Ontario, but cold air may keep precipitation all frozen in N-NY and Northern New England, though transitional. There are also signs of possibly a good back-end event lasting all the way into Saturday.

I'm attaching the ECMWF 6-hour precipitation intensity loop covering Monday through Friday. Also included are the ECMWF ensemble snowfall amounts seen through Friday from half of the ensemble members.

Let's start off with the early part of the storm which is a warm front fueled by moisture a decaying low. Tuesday in the PM some light rain may fall in W-NY and C-NY primarily, with some spotty rain and mist in S-NY and Southern New England. North it presently looks like a fine day with a widespread melt into spring conditions after a firm early morning.

Overnight into Wednesday morning there should be some snow as the warm front advances over the area. Surfaces should be mostly unfrozen during Tuesday and then freeze up overnight with this snow, and then quickly melt again on Wednesday except for N-NH and N-ME. There likely won't be enough snow to make things sticky, but where there is good coverage this might add to the fun. Don't expect much more than 3" out of this phase with most of it groomed in on managed terrain. There is a possibility of some light rain or drizzle on Wednesday also, but primarily in the southernmost areas. We have to keep watch on Wednesday though as timing of the advance of the main storm may change.

Wednesday night into Thursday is the main event, and models show a mixed bag currently in most of the area, with maybe N-NY, N-NH, and N-ME staying all snow currently, however there is no reason to count on this happening as some small changes could make a world of difference. If the storm track shifts a bit east, a secondary spinning up in the Gulf of Maine would help reinforce both the cold air in Northern New England as well as enhance the snow. If the storm tracks more west or otherwise doesn't spin up a weak secondary, then the cold air will be more likely to fail and more mixing will occur. This is a pretty big upper level low though, and there's almost no chance of it becoming a true coastal storm. The huge upper level low however may stay close by in Quebec for a couple of days and deliver some notable back-end snow in time for the weekend. So despite the potential for a mixed bag of precip, many resorts may well net some base in frozen form and some may get topped off nicely.

While wind forecasting isn't great at this range, there appears to be two phases of concern. The first currently appears to be overnight Wednesday into Thursday and may miss operating hours. The second appears to be on Friday with West wind which may funnel down the Mohawk Valley into S-VT in typical fashion. I will keep an eye on winds, but don't expect any wind hold forecasts until <2 days out.

If you are looking for the best bets for a huge dump, go north of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec. Tremblant, Saint-Saviour, Mont Sainte-Anne, and Le Massif are all looking lit. In the Northeast all of the northernmost areas are the best bets currently.
 

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WED-THU STORM UPDATE #3: On the Edge of Greatness (for most)
There are no real changes to what Tue and Wed look like in the most recent model runs. I favor the slower progression of the ECMWF and my comments in Update #2 on these days still apply.

Wednesday night into Thursday is the main event and critical to our success seems to be whether the storm spins up a secondary on the coast and how strong that secondary becomes. That secondary will not just enhance the precip nearer the coast and further to the east, it will also help prevent the warm air advection from changing over the precip to rain and other forms of mixed precip. We want that secondary strong and early. Trends have been mildly improving in this regard. Upper level vorticity shows the trends even better with a negatively tilting trough with a ton of uplift helping to spin up a low near NYC, but as yet that low is still modeled to be somewhat weak. If that secondary becomes stronger, expect heavier snow and snow even further south in New England.

On the front end of the storm N-NH and ME seem like the sweet spot for snow at this point, and also N-NY. N-VT however probably misses the best of this and may even be in a warm slot, but S-VT may do well with some mixing. There is still a good back-end event signaled however that could douse areas of N-VT with snow from Friday through Saturday with both instability from the decaying upper level low and lake effect streamers set up in a persistent direction which seem aimed not just on the Tug Hill, but could help enhance snow all the way to N-VT. This might be a pretty good back-end event with well over 6" in the highest areas.

I've attached the ECMWF 6-hour precipitation intensity loop covering Tuesday through Friday, and also the ECMWF ensemble snowfall for 25 of its 50 members showing potential variability. To me this primarily shows the various effects of whether or not that coastal low spins up early and strong, or if it fizzles. Note that the ECMWF does a poor job of showing back-end snow potential, so most of that would be additive to these snowfall maps.
 

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WED-THU STORM UPDATE #5: Just Wednesday
Note that I will shortly update on Thursday, and this will be somewhat brief. Attached is the NAM3K simulated radar from midnight through 4 p.m.

During the Wednesday ski day there's going to be a mix of mist/drizzle/light rain in some areas, and also some light snow The light snow will primarily fall in the ADK's, Green Mountains, and White Mountains, while the light unfrozen precip will mainly affect the Tug Hill, C-NY, S-NY, MA, and S-NH. This will all be pretty light and no more than 2" is expected where it is all snow, and the only place where steady light rain for any period seems possible is around the Tug Hill (Snow Ridge and McCauley). Note that the NAM3K overehances precipitation and the spotty green areas should be drizzle at most if not mist or even virga.

VT is where the snow may be steadiest, but south of Killington the chances increase for there being unfrozen at the bases while snowing on the tops. Elevation matters. In far S-VT it could also be mist or drizzle all the way to the top, but this is very borderline. The precip should hang around VT all day.

In NH and ME things will be more sparse and not really accumulate, so the only notable thing might be some mist or possibly drizzle causing goggle issues, but any snow won't amount to much.

The main storm starts to enter W-NY right around close.

WED-THU STORM UPDATE #6: Just Thursday
We saw a storm just like this less than a month ago, and it actually overperformed the NWS forecasts, but this time the NWS seems more on the side of the glass being half full and I'm hoping for a repeat. You need to be aware however that in S-VT and around Gore, there is certainly bust potential. Why? Because it's going to be above freezing when the snow falls over a large area, especially in VT.

What will likely cause this to end up being snow is a combination of dynamic cooling and uplift. Dynamic cooling happens when frozen precip falls through a warm layer and cools it. The heavier the precip, the faster it cools. As far as the uplift goes, when you force air up a mountain it not only wrings out moisture, it also cools. This big storm sitting over Ontario has a conveyer of moisture feeding into it called a Low Level Jet. This will bring with it very high winds and a ton of moisture, and this is primarily going to be in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. This feature will dump snow at very heavy rates for maybe up to 6 hours as it swings through the area. On the windward side of the mountains in Northern New England and N-NY this should result in snow, but in the areas with more marginal temps, right over the ridges as the air descends, it probably flips back to rain. Altitude matters a lot, so unfortunately some of the lower elevations ski areas just won't have the uplift to help create that snow.

The loop is the ECMWF 1-hour precipitation intensity loop. I typically use the NAM3K at this range, but this model doesn't seem to do well with low level jets in borderline temps, and so the ECMWF is the way to go here. I've attached the latest NWS stitch showing the forecast through 7 p.m. on Friday, but since this also includes some back-end snow in the form of late effect and orographic lift enhanced snow, I am also including the NWS forecast through 7 p.m. on Thursday in a different form as the second image. Lastly I've included the ECMWF snowfall map through 7 p.m. on Thursday also providing a broader view without human interpretation.

Snowfall: Resorts in Quebec north of the St. Lawrence are going to get crushed. N-NH and ME are still predicted to be the places in the Northeast where the most snow will fall on the front-end, but winds will be more of a ski day issue there and unless you can find some fixed grip's to ride, Friday may be the better day to hunt there. Far S-VT and also far N-VT might be over-forecasted. Shadowing is pretty clear in the models for around Bolton Valley and north to Jay, but don't worry, they will get what appears to be a very night back end event that may last multiple days. Far S-VT is questionable due to some rain possibly mixing in, but more water will fall there and it's certainly possible we could see totals of 10" there. Gore is a bit borderline and might mix a little also.

Snow and Wind Timing: Moderate snowfall should start exiting N-NY around 9 a.m., S-VT around 10 a.m., N-VT around 11 a.m., N-NH around 12 p.m., and ME around 1 p.m. These are also the times when the biggest wind threat will pass on the front end, but take note that wind will then switch to the W to WSW and hammer all of NY and S-VT. I will make a wind hold map shortly.

Plan to Ride Fixed Grip Lifts Thursday: Your safest bet is going to be finding fixed grip lifts because many detachables may be down for parts of the ski day. Know your resorts and expect holds, even on some fixed grip lifts.
 
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