Monday, December 22, 2008




CHRISTMAS EVE STORM – This storm will be of mixed precipitation types with a few to possibly several inches of snow before going over to some rain Wednesday afternoon along with a thaw. The thaw will be short-lived as a cold front should change precipitation back to snow showers Christmas Eve, followed by an arctic front during the latter part of the Christmas morning. That means **if** a crust would develop due to this mixed precipitation on the mountain, it would have some additional follow up snow showers as colder air plows into the region but this looks limited. It’s a tough forecast but a preliminary cal of 2 to 5” on the front end followed by a periods of rain then another 1 to 2” inches on the back side.

Skies tend to partially clear out for Christmas afternoon, with some fantastic but cold weather for Friday.

SATURDAY: A storm system commonly called a “panhandle hook low” will develop near the Oklahoma Panhandle and truck northeastward into the central Great Lakes swinging a warm front into New England and southeast Canada. This pattern typically brings rain and freezing rain, but at this time appears not to be very substantial generally less than a third of an inch liquid, where most of the moisture will be well to our west, still we will likely see some liquid precip and a major thaw take place…possibly reaching into the low 50s, along with freezing levels rising into to about 5000 feet. This storm system pulls away into far northern Canada while swinging a cold front through, changing rain showers to snow showers Sunday morning followed by some sunny intervals.

Mid to Longer Range – Warmer than normal temperature levels, and less snow than normal appears to be in the offing between Christmas and New Years Day. Thereafter, colder weather returns for the first week of January, along with near normal snowfall.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Biggest snowfall of this season on it's way...lots of ice to our south and east...could be bad!


Biggest snowfall for the season on the way. It’s a Nor’easter that wants to track into New Hampshire while injecting some warmer air aloft and causing some sleet to mix in, and even an ice storm across portions of southern and far eastern Vermont and New Hampshire. Those areas will not see the kind of snow that should fall from 10 to 18” starting Thursday night and lasting into the most of the day before pulling away late Friday.

There no doubt about these storms having been the worst to forecast since I’ve been doing this in the 80s. The Computer weather modeling of the tracks have “shifty” causing the trends to keep pulling westward instead of staying on or a little off the coast. These storm become more of a hybrid and the closer they are to the region, the more the chance for precipitation other than just fine dendrites and stellar’s .

See storm track but also the blue area showing modeled precipitation. Freezing rain may get as far north as the far Northeastern Kingdom of VT, but I’m expecting it as far west as Mad River Glen.

As the storm departs, the weekend should be an outstanding one for enjoying about a foot of new powder with bright sunshine courtesy of higher pressure.

On Sunday, this high pressure system will bring us warmer air aloft as it exits to the east. The next system might again fall in the form of rain for a time, before changing back to all snow Monday night and Tuesday morning. High pressure builds across the region Tuesday night followed by another impulse with a brief shot of 2 to 5” of more snow for Wednesday. Colder air behind that system should be god for snow making conditions and also preserve the snow.

Bottom line around a foot of new powder with excellent conditions to play in the snow for the weekend.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain and a crust did happen! but so did some decent snows...

To the left looks south down the spine of the central Green Mountains where some decent snow accrued just ahead of the Thanksgiving Holiday...but there's a crust holding back the opening of Mad River Glen for example

More snow showers are likely Friday and again Monday to add more snow to the Greens.

Some very decent snows did fall across some parts of the region. You can see an example of the Pasumpsic River valley where Saint Johnsbury resides having little snow (light blue colors) last 24 hours. Other areas had snow then lower elevations lossed some of the snow, while areas kept it well...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Say it Ain't So! Snow to rain Monday night into Tuesday

11-24-08 FLASH

All eyes are on the making of a complex storm system later tonight and Tuesday.

The weather system has been evolving to one that will wrap in a fare amount of warm air with high winds Tuesday…changing snow to rain.

The good and the Bad – Snow will fall around midnight with about 3” to 6” before the lower two-thirds of the mountain begins to see some mixture in the morning Tuesday, before changing over to all rain late morning. Temperatures at base lodge may top out in the upper 30s late. The upper 1/4 of Stark Mountain will also mix with rain Tuesday afternoon, but there is a slight chance it could stay all snow, a very close call elevation dependent. Fingers crossed!!

This storm system is one that has evolved further to the west over the weekend and has gone from a snow with mixture in the middle to one mostly featuring rain New England wide.

Precipitation totals of three quarters of an inch melted, with about a third of that falling as rain during the day tomorrow, this will be better than other areas that will not fare as well with more rain indicated.

Of note -- High velocity winds will rake the Green mountains tomorrow at speeds greater than 60 Mph and will likely cause power outages - so be ware. As the storm heads north Wednesday it will leave us with partly sunny skies and temperatures that will be running close to seasonal normal’s.

Snow showers to return with light accumulation Thanksgiving Day lingering into the weekend. There is another weather system that might replicate itself for Saturday – stay tuned.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snows to Accrue especially Thanksgiving Week next.


We continue on a track to accrue and build a base of snow with recent falls of natural snow, Temperatures will remain cold and “snow preservation” to remain excellent without any big warm ups.

About Monday the 24th, numerous light to moderate snowfalls should begin and continue through the work week – adding up to 6 to 10 with a 30% shot of a foot on top of General Stark Mountain. Low level moisture circulating and slamming into the mountain much as it has in recent days might not get a lot of attention, but a little each day as we all know on the Green Mountains adds up to a lot. One of the more interesting features can “Champlain Champaign” – this bubbly action courtesy of a cold northerly flow of air down the axis of Lake Champlain with a slight eastward tilt…bangs up against General Stark Mountain in a very localized Lake Effect machine and can unload a plenty --- while other areas miss out.

The weather pattern will also be favorable for the possibility of some big time jet stream energy cruising the Mid Atlantic and southeast coast. This can be exciting for the possibility of a Nor’easter hugging the coastline due to the blocking high pressure system south of Greenland continuing. We’ll keep a close eye out for this as well.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Skiable Snow to make a return before Thanksgiving…

11-11-08 Veterans Day

Skiable Snow to make a return before Thanksgiving…

Please see the graphic. The most recent snows across the Green Mountains will likely fade and melt off except on north facing slopes in the longer shadows. But not to worry, as we will see some decent conditions begin to set up around the 17th and very likely continue perhaps unabated with a strong “lake effect” machine. Around the 17th high latitude blocking will have forced the jet stream to buckle into a trough of lower pressure aligned in the Great Lakes to Northeast U.S. This will create numerous “Alberta Clipper systems”, each bringing in their own shots of light to moderate snows across the most favorable areas in the Green Mountains and frequently onto General Stark Mountain and Mad River Glen. Couple this with lake effect off the warmer waters of Lake Ontario and Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay – and then include some local lake effect that can sometimes set up downwind from Lake Champlain and whammo! Early season lake effect snows can almost compete with a strong Nor’easter in November. This is due to the amazing energy transfer that can take place when colder air circulates over surface lake temperatures that are around 50 degrees F or 10 degrees C. Typically if this weather pattern bears out, we can expect easily 4 to 8 inches and possibly approaching a foot before Thanksgiving at Mad River Glen

This weather pattern may go back to one closer to seasonable conditions very late in the month. Many longer range forecasts are calling for a wild colder and snowy December!!! But we’ll have to see just how this early season evolves and this will depend on snow cover up to our northwest in Canada. Please see the graphic.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mildness lingers but for how long?

The hazy mild conditions of recent will only continue but we’ll be threading the needle so to speak with a narrow ridge of higher pressure presiding over us, supplying a stagnant hazy air mass. Mild conditions are continued with patchy mid and high cloudiness. Those clouds may at times thicken up while bands of rain showers rotating around low pressure system, work up the east coast occasionally approaching the northern Green Mountains. It’s a close call with any shower activity barely reaching the region. This weather system will be overcome by a migrating frontal system that will cross the Great Lakes this weekend. This leading edge of colder air, will pretty much end our most recent mild weather, and also trigger a better chance for rain showers on Saturday.

Eventually colder air flowing in off the Great Lakes will make for “mountain snow shower activity” Sunday and last into early next week. This unsettled weather beginning this weekend, is part of a larger scale weather pattern change, but only a first step along the way to much better potential Please see graphic. It might become much more important, as jet stream energy rounds the base of a large trough of low pressure and forces the formation of a southern storm system that could pass close enough to cause snow locally toward the middle part of next week. We are looking at a more unstable and potentially snowy weather pattern to emerge for the third week of November around the 17th to 19th time frame. This window though short could bring us something a lot more important.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Friday, October 31, 2008

Snow Melt and Preservation...

The wet moisture laden snows may not all melt off by the end of next week but a warm up is expected between now and then. A Halloween cold front will bring enough colder air later this evening to fire some sprinkles first but then a glancing blow of relatively colder air to settle into place for Saturday. This will slow down the recent melt-off and preserve the snow as it will be some kind of chilly.

This next chilly air mass with the reinforcing shot of colder air on Saturday will eventually moderate over Sunday and Monday. An area of higher pressure will set the stage after the next shot of rain showers on Monday.

Tuesday Election day will begin a large reconfiguration on the jet stream which will have lasting effects the rest of the week. A large dip in the Jet stream out west will pump more ridging in the east, setting the stage for a southwesterly feed of milder air into the region and thus melting of snows on the slopes for much of next week.

As we get into next weekend around the 8th,9th and 10th, the polar vortex was forecast to weaken considerably and release VERY COLD AIR toward the middle latitudes. This should have ramifications with the jet stream pattern and migratory storms across northern New England in the favor of more snow, the big question at that point will be - does this colder air stay around, or does it progress again to another oscillation for warmer conditions?

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The best shot of late October snow so far is headed our way, as rain changes to snow and lowers down the mountain side tonight.

Low pressure expected to track northward up the Connecticut River producing a wide swath of rain, but, tonight the intensification process coupled with colder air swinging in on the back side of the storm system, should lower the snow level down to the valley floor before sunrise Wednesday. At that point, the best moisture fields will have moved north into Canada, but a strong west to northwesterly flow will set the stage for up-slope snows. As the cold moist air rams up against the Green Mountains, several inches of snow will fall overnight and continue into Wednesday.

Jay Peak - Due to the high water content I’m going for about 5” to 10” of new snow with the up-slope event. ***If the snow level lowers faster and colder air arrives earlier , we might see better than 10 inches on the upper 2/3rds of Jay Peak. The snow is likely to be very wet and heavy in nature, sticking to trees and signs and power lines. The wind velocities will be topping out around 45 mph later tonight and especially tomorrow producing rime icing and at times near blizzard conditions on the mountain with wind chills down to the single digits at times.

Mad River Glen – Up-sloping snows should deliver a solid 4” to 7” inches by early Thursday morning with the main gig happening late tonight tomorrow morning and secondary flare up Wednesday evening.

A weak area of higher pressure should work into the region with partial afternoon sunshine later in the day Thursday. At that time Jay Peak will be beautifully white.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Nor'easter of the year cuts a little close for comfort


Accumulating amounts are still in question, but we at looking at the best shot of late October snow so far, and skiable snow on the mountain.

The jet stream buckling with a deepening trough of lower pressure and much colder air aloft and at the surface was taking place across the Great Lakes. In response, a warmer train of air across western Atlantic was organizing. This train of air will begin to gather plenty of moisture as it presses northward Tuesday pushing in rain.

Low pressure should track northward and a bit northwestward toward the Maine-New Hampshire border region and eventually near Sherbrook Quebec while intensifying. The intensification process will lower the snow level to a degree, but the arrival of colder air may wait until Tuesday evening. At that point the best moisture fields will have moved onward to the north into Canada.

So the WRAP-BACKLASH of moisture coupled with sharply falling temperatures are likely to be the main influence with UP-SLOPING snows and snow showers.

Right now I’m going for 3” to 6” with the up-slope event here in the Mad River Glen section of the Greens . ***If the snow level lowers faster and colder air arrives earlier , we might see better than 8 inches on the mountain, just slightly above base lodge level, but this remains to be seen just yet. The snow is likely to be very wet and heavy in nature, sticking to trees and signs and power lines. This also poses possible power outages with winds gusting 40 to 50 mph from the west and northwest.

Wednesday could turn out to be a ski day with a slow ramping down of snow showers and additional minor accumulation.
Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gusty winds Saturday night - Colder mid next week?

A pretty good blow of strong gusty winds from the southeast will likely make itself felt across the Green Mountains Saturday afternoon and evening just about the time a shot of moderate to heavy showers works through the region...

These winds might be strong enough to take down a few tree limbs an cuase scattered power outages...

To the right please click on the graphic to view what we might expect down the road. One particular model has been toning down but nevertheles holds on to a possible coastal system throw plenty of snow back into the region next week.

I'm not ready to sign off on it but will keep a careful watch.

Roger Hill -Weathering Heights

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quick update Tuesday Night Snowfall

General Stark Mountain – I’m expecting roughly 1” to 3” at the top to perhaps lowest one third of the mountain and trace to an inch down to about 1500 feet elevation…not much below that. All of this by about 8 AM tomorrow morning.

Now, In a best case scenario we might get lucky crank out 2 to 4 at the top but that might be a wee bit of a stretch. Winds might be a bit brutal on the back side of the low pressure system later tonight out of the north and last into Wednesday and gusty to around 30 mph.

Will it be enough to take a few runs? Drooling? You decide? But have your rock skis.

Rain mixed with wet snow flakes is about all for the Mad River valley with a slush on some grassy surfaces. Higher pressure to build in for lots of sunshine and moderating temperatures later in the week with clear cold nights and bright sunny days Thursday and Friday.

Temperatures will eventually warm up a tad with clearing skies and higher pressure to build into the region later in the week.

I want to also let you know of some more “teaser” snow showers to hit the Green Mountains Sunday night into early next week. The season is young and its way early yet.

Roger Hill

Weathering Heights

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mid October snow on the way?

The graphic should say it all. It is a pretty interesting time of year. Though the "pretty" part is probably peaked.
It is also a time whebn computer modeling in the northern and southern hemisphere began to take a dive in accuracy. This is in part due to the strongly driven jet stream with higher amplitude troughs or dips and ridges where systems cut off amplify out. Blocking patterns can emerge and modeling though amazing in it's accuracy can be thrown some large curve balls. Curve balls routinely bust forecasts.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vermont's Green Mountains get first dusting...

Vermont Ski Weather conditions to evolve from Fall dust up's...and will be mostly in graphical forms for forecasts.
This was the first snow of the 2008-2009 season...looking west from Waitsfield on Friday Oct. 3rd...
Temp's to go above normal later in the week on back side of large area of higher pressure in the east.
The next potential dust up will be around the weekend of the 18th - 19th...