Converse on all ski and snowboard subjects - All things skiing, snowboarding, Q&A, gear, etc.

Please attempt to keep all comments within this forum related to skiing or snowboarding related content.

Profanity and Comments STRONGLY Monitored and enforced. (Keep it Clean! G-Rated)
admin

Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:06 am

It's Arctic hammer time!!!







THE SKIING WEATHERMAN’S WEATHER MISSIVE 02/18/06



As this week comes to a close, a rock n’ roll cold front is making its way offshore in the east. It came barreling east from the Great Lakes today, cranking up damaging winds both in front of and behind the front itself. In advance of the front, warmer air spread all the way northward into Quebec, so just about every resort in the eastern time zone got some rain today…surfaces that were packed powder early this week have been firmed up, and tonight, groomers are crawling over slopes throughout the east, in an attempt to make the product more acceptable to the holiday weekend crowds. Thankfully, the raging winds that accompanied today’s cold front…winds that caused lift ops problems on the high peaks today…will be subsiding overnight. Snowmaking will resume, too, and that will also help in the effort to soften surfaces. Lake effect snow will help, too, in areas downwind of lakes Erie and Ontario. Peek N Peak, Holiday Valley and Snow Ridge in New York look to be in the best locations to capitalize on the lake snows…all three resorts should pick up a solid 6 inches plus by midday Sunday.



While high pressure will dominate over the east from the Great Lakes to New England this weekend, further south there is likely to be a light to moderate snowfall. A minor jet stream level disturbance will tap into the newly arrived cold air to set off 3 to 5 inches in the mountains of North Carolina, so Ski Beech, Ski Hawksnest, and Sugar Mountain will be sporting some fresh snow on Saturday, and light snow, on the order of 1 to 3 inches, will also reach Wintergreen and Massanutten in Virginia. This system is the one that, earlier this week, I felt had a chance to reach southern New England, but the upper flow is going to be too flat for anything to turn the corner this weekend.



While the arrival of today’s cold front dropped temperatures dramatically, the temps will bottom out after a secondary cold front moves through the region later on Saturday. This front will be moisture starved, but there will be mountain snow showers in New York and New England. Behind this second boundary, the coldest air of the season lurks, and Sunday will be a very cold day on the slopes of the northeast…nothing that a prepared skier or rider can’t handle, but it will be a slap in the face of sorts after the warmth of much of the past 6 weeks.



Next week, another relatively weak impulse will move through the southern Appalachians, which will bring about a somewhat unusual occurrence in that part of the country…snow on snow. Arctic air will continue to press into the U.S. next week, and with a trough in the southwest, we’ll have to be on the lookout for any and all impulses that are ejected from the trough…as they come east, they will act on the thermal boundary set up by the southward push of the mass of cold air. Mush of this winter, the NAO, or North Atlantic Oscillation has been neutral or slightly positive. If you live in the east, a NEGATIVE NAO is what you are looking for. In the negative phase, the NAO produces high latitude blocking at the jet stream level…usually centered somewhere around Greenland. The blocking tends to cause the jet stream to buckle upstream, over the United States, and that also usually produces a trough over the eastern U.S. The trough acts as a very nice repository for a fresh shot of cold air, if it’s available. There is plenty of cold air in Canada, and it will take, at a minimum, several weeks for that cold air mass to moderate appreciably. There are some signs now that a negative NAO will develop around the first of March…usually it has two to three weeks of staying power…and a negative NAO has its strongest influence in the latter stages of winter. It is for this reason that I anticipate the cold weather continuing into March, perhaps into the middle of the month, or longer. During that time I also believe that the east will be positioned for at least one major storm threat…the pieces will be there…ultimately it will boil down to whether the northern and southern branches of the jet phase at the right time. The first such threat will come by the end of next week, I believe…something to watch for as next week develops. Any major storm late next week would open the door to yet another outbreak of arctic air.



In the west, a short wave trough will move through the Sierra of California this weekend, producing one to two feet of snow in the Tahoe region. The system will weaken as it moves further inland, so that by the time it reaches the Wasatch later in the weekend, amounts will be lighter, but 6 to 8 inches of fresh snow is always welcomed. The cold front trialing from this western system will reach southward to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, where it will interact with a shot of moisture in the southern branch, and that means 4 to 8 inches of new snow for Taos, where fresh snow has been a rare commodity this season. Thanks to a tremendous effort on the part of the snowmakers, Taos has about two thirds of their terrain open, and just about their entire vertical is skiable. Even the famous Ridge has been open, but clearly, Taos deserves this new snow. Next week’s snow in the west will be more likely to occur south of I-80, as the remnants of the western trough squeeze out more flakes. In the northern Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest, it will be unseasonably cold, as the Canadian cold air mass spreads out in that direction, too.



The rest of this month promises to be full of forecasting challenges, as is always the case when you have a large mass of cold air undergoing attack from the south and southwest. If you are headed to an eastern resort for President’s Week, at least there isn’t the threat of a holiday warm-up similar to what happened during Christmas Week. IF you are skiing or riding this weekend, however, a mid season edge tune-up might be a good idea, because surfaces will be firm in the wake of the latest thaw/freeze cycle. All in all, the prospects for eastern snow lovers are good as we head toward the end of February and on into March.
admin

Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:35 pm

Is something brewing for the weekend?









THE SKIING WEATHERMAN’S WEATHER MISSIVE 02/20/06





Today I am going to do something I haven’t ever done in the production of these missives…I am going to ask you to re-read a paragraph from my last post…dealing with the NAO. I am doing this because the next two weeks or so are going to be all about the NAO…more specifically, what happens when it goes into its negative phase as high latitude blocking develops over the north Atlantic. So here it is… a quick refresher course from last week’s discussion…



“Next week, another relatively weak impulse will move through the southern Appalachians, which will bring about a somewhat unusual occurrence in that part of the country…snow on snow. Arctic air will continue to press into the U.S. next week, and with a trough in the southwest, we’ll have to be on the lookout for any and all impulses that are ejected from the trough…as they come east, they will act on the thermal boundary set up by the southward push of the mass of cold air. Mush of this winter, the NAO, or North Atlantic Oscillation has been neutral or slightly positive. If you live in the east, a NEGATIVE NAO is what you are looking for. In the negative phase, the NAO produces high latitude blocking at the jet stream level…usually centered somewhere around Greenland. The blocking tends to cause the jet stream to buckle upstream, over the United States, and that also usually produces a trough over the eastern U.S. The trough acts as a very nice repository for a fresh shot of cold air, if it’s available. There is plenty of cold air in Canada, and it will take, at a minimum, several weeks for that cold air mass to moderate appreciably. There are some signs now that a negative NAO will develop around the first of March…usually it has two to three weeks of staying power…and a negative NAO has its strongest influence in the latter stages of winter. It is for this reason that I anticipate the cold weather continuing into March, perhaps into the middle of the month, or longer. During that time I also believe that the east will be positioned for at least one major storm threat…the pieces will be there…ultimately it will boil down to whether the northern and southern branches of the jet phase at the right time. The first such threat will come by the end of next week, I believe…something to watch for as next week develops. Any major storm late next week would open the door to yet another outbreak of arctic air.”



Okay…now that you understand the implications of a negative NAO, I can confirm that that is where we are headed. In fact, by this weekend, the block will be firmly in place over Greenland, and back to the west, a short wave heading southeastward out of Canada will be blocked from sliding offshore. Instead, it will deepen into a fairly significant upper low, and if it happens to phase with some energy moving through the southern branch, voila’, we will have a significant coastal storm to look forward to this weekend. It’s all a matter of putting the pieces together, and the shortening of the wavelength between ridges and troughs will tend to consolidate the pieces along the eastern seaboard, I believe. One thing is for sure…in the wake of any weekend storm, another shot of arctic air will envelope the east, from Chicago to the mid Atlantic, and it looks as though it will be colder, and have a little more staying power than the outbreak of this past weekend.



In the meantime, this will be a relatively quiet week, with one southern branch short wave threatening the mid Atlantic, and perhaps as far north as southern New England, with a shot of light snow midweek. Temperatures will be moderating back to about normal, with one day…Thursday, above normal, but not outrageously so. Lake effect snows that brought some surface-softening powder to the slopes of western and central New York are winding down today, but a couple of weak short waves in the northern branch will keep light snow going off and on for the next several days in the Adirondacks and northern Greens and Whites, and in central and northern Maine. One little burst hit Jay Peak this morning, and they have picked up 3-4 inches since midnight Sunday night. A southern branch short wave will kick off an inch or two in the mountains of North Carolina today, too.



In the west, an upper level trough is weakening this week, so new snow amounts will be very light, as an upper level ridge will gradually become the major player in that region. Now, next weekend, as the wavelengths continue to shorten due to the north Atlantic block, a trough will once again return to the west, which will enhance the new snow threat. Although we generally think of winter set-ups having a trough in the east and a ridge in the west, or vice versa, the truth is that when blocking takes hold, the wavelengths can shorten sufficiently to produce troughs on both coast, and that’s where we are headed by the end of the upcoming weekend. With so much trough energy on the map a week from now, forecasting will get very interesting next week, as short wavelength situations are unstable, and don’t tend to last very long. The question will then become…does the cold and trough hold in the east, or the west? Stay tuned for the answer to that, as well as an update on the potential storm for this weekend on the east coast.
admin

Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:13 pm

I really don't understand any of this.
SkiCop
Expert
Posts: 11841
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:28 pm

Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:40 am

It may be best just to PM P-Daddy and ask him if it's gonna snow. :D
admin

Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:05 pm

March is here...so is winter!









THE SKIING WEATHERMAN’S WEATHER MISSIVE 02/28/06





Well, March is upon us, and if you have had the opportunity to get out and ski or ride the past couple of days, I think you would agree that conditions are the best they have been all year…in the east, that is. In the next couple of weeks, there is plenty or room for optimism about fine conditions continuing, as the eastern United States is going to be below normal temperature-wise, and stormy, too.



ON this Tuesday morning, arctic air is in control of the east, thanks to the circulation around a deep upper low located over southeastern Canada. The low has been there for about ten days now, and numerous small impulses have been rotating around the center of the low. These impulses have been responsible for the repeated episodes of light to moderate snow that have occurred in New York and New England since the start of the President’s Day weekend. Some of the upper level short waves have passed further south, so areas in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland have also picked up some fresh snow every few days, helping to maintain a mid winter packed powder surface. In New York and New England, however, there has been powder to play in, and in some places, plenty of it. Whiteface in Lake Placid has received between 3 and 4 feet of snow since the 21st…northern Vermont resorts (Jay Peak, Stowe, Smuggs, Bolton Valley, etc.) have been dumped on to the tune of two feet or so, and the glades at all the northern resorts have been transformed from bullet-proof bumper pool emporiums to pillow time playgrounds.



A funny thing happens when an upper low stays in place over southeastern Canada for an extended period of time…they start to circulate milder air into the Untied States…from the north! The modified air comes all the way around the top of the counter clockwise circulation, and that is something that will happen over the next 48 hours or so. As a short wave of low pressure moves east-southeastward from the western Great Lakes toward the east coast, milder air will feed into it from the north, and its own circulation will draw milder air northward in advance of the low. In essence, the cold air entrenched over the east will get attacked from two different directions. The track of the surface low is going to be critical in determining who gets snow and who doesn’t. I think the low is going to track toward Cleveland, with a secondary low then taking shape along the New Jersey coastline. By Thursday morning, the secondary low will become the primary center, and as it deepens, snowfall rates will increase in eastern New York and much of central and southern New England. The exception will be the immediate coastline, where enough warm air will come northward to produce a snow/sleet/rain mess. From the Catskills to the Berkshires, to the southern mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, this looks like a solid 4 to 8 inch storm. That also includes the major cities of southern New England, too, in case you’re contemplating a day of hooky…the driving will be a bit rough from your home to your mountain of choice.



South of the track of the storm resorts in southern Pennsylvania southward will have to endure a one-day dramatic warm-up…temps will be in the 50’s in southern PA, and near 70 in southern Virginia. In fact, Thursday could be a day where it is near 70 in D.C. and around freezing, with snow and sleet, in NYC. Such are the vagaries of late winter weather. When the low moves offshore, cold air will move in again, all the way into the mid Atlantic, so the only thing that will change in those areas will be the surface snow, as the one day warm-up produces more of a granular consistency. The weekend looks very nice throughout the east…chilly enough to maintain packed powder but not as cold as last weekend. The snow will arguably be the best of this season, so I suggest you start making plans now.



Early next week, the east will be threatened by a major coastal low…one that will take shape along the NC/VA coastline. It looks as though it will move northeastward from there, and with blocking still in place further east, it will not escape quickly. There will be enough cold air in place to produce snow from DC all the way into New England, and with such a large temperature gradient in place in the east, this has the makings of a big one. I’ll take a look at this threat in depth later this week, and I’ll also discuss some monstrous snows that are headed into the west coast. Suffice it to say that many places in the east that have finally laid down a snow cover stand to deepen that cover should next week’s storm come to pass. Other areas in the mid Atlantic who may have thought that their natural snow season was about over, will be in for a surprise.



Beyond next week’s system, it will be cold for a couple of days, as the cold upper low remains in a spot where it can circulate cold air into the east, but I think that the cold will relax late next week, before being reinforced again the week of the 13th. When big upper level blocks set up late in winter, they don’t get out of the way quickly, and they usually don’t die before producing at least one good-sized coastal storm. The snow on its way later this week looks as though it will set the table for a bigger helping early next week. In the meantime…the snow is great throughout the region…get out and take advantage!
admin

Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:09 pm

the snow is defenitely not great around the region. this winter has been very lame.
admin

Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:31 pm

wont be long before hes posting again
SkiCop
Expert
Posts: 11841
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:28 pm

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:33 am

Good.
Post Reply