Weather by Tim Kelley
Tuesday February 9th, 2016 - 12:27 pm
Snow! Without Wind! For now…
The last few days have delivered about a half foot of snow, and not too much wind; a rare treat here in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. How does this happen? We have an upper-level low pressure system right overhead; the proverbial calm at the center of a massive storm high in the atmosphere. The surface storms and wind are all off to our west, south, east, and north.
Here at the center of upper-level low is very unstable air, which means comfortable temperatures down on earth and very cold air a few miles up in the sky. Relatively warm air (less dense), under relatively cold air (more dense) is unstable. This instability means it takes very little moisture and wind to cause rising air, which cools and condenses, and make snowflakes. This unstable, calm & snowy weather lasts through Thursday night.
In the last post, I stated "1 to 3 feet of snow by Valentine's Day, with Valentine's Day being the coldest day of the winter." It still looks on target.
But.. I also mentioned, the forecast is not that straightforward, and that a series of storms off to the west, south and east could dumbbell around and miss Jay Peak. That is coming out to be accurate. The storms are mostly missing us. But the snow is not missing.
Because we are not getting a direct storm, the forecast is going to be closer to 1 foot, than 3 feet, by Valentine's Day. Our forecast through Saturday is off and on snow. Essentially, what is going on is a polar vortex is trying to ease in. There's no one single wave or front we can hang our hat on, just a series of mini waves riding by every 6 to 12 hours.
My best guess is 3 to 5 inches of snow each 24 hour period, with a heavier snow burst on Friday into early Saturday. We may still be in the light wind Saturday morning, but it is going to pick up late in the day and at night.
Comfortable temperatures are here through Thursday night, and then it starts dropping on Friday.
The temperature is still forecasted above zero starting Saturday morning, but likely subzero by Sunset.
Our sunrise on Valentine's Day will be the coldest windy weather of this winter. We likely start the day around 20 below zero Fahrenheit, climbing up to just below zero by afternoon with winds around 30 mph.
As we start to warm up on Monday. The signal is for a very snowy weather next week. Snow likely redevelops late Monday with perhaps a good dump and not too much wind on Tuesday.
I know you've heard that one before, we keep saying next week. The heaviest snow can't keep falling on Cape Cod, something has to give. Next week is our week!
Enjoy this beautiful calm winter wonderland weather before the arctic Valentines blast on Sunday, and then get ready for the best skiing of the winter.
Next update Friday morning.
Who is Tim Kelley?
A native Cape Codder, Tim says "Dad taught me how to read Barometer, Mom taught me how to smile."
He learned to ski at Blue Hill near Boston 4 decades ago. But it was Burke Mountain Vermont where I was exposed to big mountain skiing while earning his B.S. in Meteorology at Lyndon State College, class of '87.
Tim has started his weather career at WMUR Manchester NH, then went to WLNE in Providence RI, before settling at his current TV gig, New England Cable News (NECN) in 1992. You can also see his surf and ski reports on SkiTheEast.net, Boardliving.com, and SurfSkiWeather.us.
He says "It's an honor to be part of The Jay Team, look for me in TIMbuktu!"