Not bad from 177 hours out, last weeks GFS forecast called for a 1012 low southeast of Nantucket, with record challenging cold in the northeast. That is pretty much exactly what happened.
Here is the verification.
We mentioned last week, that if that storm could have moved a bit north, we would be cold enough for snow. That is true, the temperature on Mount Washington has been from 5 to 15 degrees all weekend with northwest wind to 90 mph. But High Pressure ruled, and we had sunshine. We did get a few inches of snow from a powerful Thursday/Friday Clipper though. Six inches of snow at Jay Peak in Vermont made the last weekend of skiing a wintry experience. Freeskier Josh shared this picture from Jay Saturday April 28th.
Bill Stenger and all the crew at Jay Peak Resort are to be commended for staying open later than any other ski area in the east, despite one of the warmest spring’s in modern history.
So are we done with the snow now that April 2012 is about finished? Maybe, maybe not.
Amazingly, the GFS model is showing a similar set up, with a Low southeast of Cape Cod, and record challenging cold in the northeast again next weekend.
Let’s do the experiment again.
Here is the GFS Forecast for next Sunday Night May 6 2012
Look at that Cold High in Ontario and the powerful storm in western Kansas. Looks like March! So we have to keep the chance of Record cold and possible snow in the forecast through early May.
In fact, one of the record lows set this weekend was in Flint Michigan. The low on Sunday April 29th in Flint was 22 degrees, breaking the record of 27 from 1977. There is that year again, back in March, the warm air records we were breaking were from 1977 too.
Remember what happened on May 10, 1977?
Yup, the latest accumulating snow on record in southern New England. That makes 1977 an analog year for our weather this spring. Sometimes analog forecasting beats computer model forecasting. But even the GFS has been hinting at elevation snow in the northeast for the period May7-12 this year. Ya, I like snow, and weather extremes, so I am rooting for another snowfall.
In the meantime, a coast to coast weather front will be lifting form south to north this week. New England has been on the cold side of the front since Friday. We may get on the warm side of the front later this week. To the south of the front, we had near-all-time record warmth for April in Utah to Oklahoma last week. That heat is trying to come northeast, but may not make it. A series of low pressure waves on the front will traverse west to east over New England. Initially the wave track is to the south of us, with chilly rain Tuesday. Then a bit of a break Wednesday, followed by more rain, and Thunder, Thursday-Sunday. The best bet for warmth, and Severe Thunderstorms, is Friday, when the strongest of the waves will try to pass north of Vermont. I so try, because the mean trough position in the North Atlantic favors High Pressure near Nova Scotia. In addition, the North Atlantic Oscillation is forecast more negative than any point since last year. That implies North Atlantic Blocking. Which in turn means, we may be stuck with a low level chilly breeze from the northeast, especially in Maine, New Hampshire, and eastern Massachusetts.
West of the Connecticut River the temperature may spike well into the 70s Late Thursday into Saturday, but eastern sections may be in the 50s to near 60. The best bet for thunder is in the warmer air.
This set up favors lower fire danger and better growing weather into the second week of May.
But, also for the first time in months, we have no lift served skiing, and no good surf in New England. We can hike to ski and ride SUP. There may be a slight swell from the Tuesday mini Nor’easter though.
That Nor’easter last week gave us three days of surf.
Here is a shot from Hull Last Wednesday.
And a bonus shot from Stowe Mountain Resort Friday April 27th. I hear Scott Bratten hiked some powder turns. Speaking of Powder turns, does anyone work harder for them than FemaleSkiBum Merisa, she hit Killington for a few turns last week too. And we can’t forget the lucky few in Pennsylvania and New York who tapped record late April Snow from that same Nor’easter.