The short range is looking very bad if you are into skiing/riding across the eastern US as a rain maker will move into most the region. Unless you live at the northern tip of Maine, its mostly just a rain event. The good thing is that areas with normally icy conditions (NJ+PA resorts) will now have softer snow and the deep snow base will most certainly live through the rain storm because man made snow is strong stuff. The three to five feet that fell in the mountains of New England in the past few days will most certainly be melted down and turned to ice for the weekend so it wouldn't be wise to make a trip up there this weekend, our home turf will have better snow conditions. By the weekend things cool down and another storm system is on the horizon, but this time colder air will be around and that starts the medium range.
Medium range: (Sunday Mar 1st-Thursday Mar 5th)
To start off the first week of March, which will most definitely come in like a lion, a storm system will ride up the eastern United States. As of right now all models are showing a snow event for the area including the European, and you can see that below:
Don't get too excited though. Given the trend of the entire season thus far it will most likely track further west than the models predict and the big snows will be up north and in the mountains. While the main storm track this season has not done justice to the people living in the big cities for us here in northwest Jersey we now have between 30"-45" inches (37.8" in Netcong) of snow with the most in the highest of terrain. The storms in the past usually brought us a few inches of snow to start, then a brief period of sleet, several hours of freezing rain, then a period of drizzle to end. I have no reason to think that it will happen any other way, in fact its the most likely thing I can see happening. Of course since a storm is on the way I will post blogs more frequently to let you know what the MODELS are saying, and then give my personal opinion of them.
After the storm moves through a deep trough will move in and temperatures will be ten or more degrees below average for March, if any patch work snow making at the resorts needs to be done then this is the time to do it. After what could be the last major arctic blast of the season a warm and mild Pacific air mass will move in and will most certainly affect trail counts across the region and spring riding and skiing will begin to take place. This starts the long range.
Long Range: (Friday Mar 6th-March 15th) **Note subject to change
The seconds week of March looks to more mild with an active storm track but with cold air just to the north any storm could be a potential snow maker like the one showing up for Wednesday the 11th. March is one of my favorite months of the year mainly because anything can happen with the battle of the air masses going on, awesome things. It's very interesting meteorologically speaking just to see the season literally changing in what seems just days in time. By this time the NAO will mostly likely be at a strong negative blocking pattern and the wavelengths of troughs begin to shorten, this could set up a snowy pattern with melting going on at the same time as true arctic air is in short supply.
Beyond: (March 16th-April)
By the third to fourth week of March Mountain Creek is typically closed as all the snow has melted away. But that doesn't mean it can't still snow, it's still too far to tell but late March and early April snow events are not unheard of and are actually common in northwest Jersey. Old man winter had his shot by this time and if he didn't please you then there is always next year, and my Winter Outlook for 2009-2010 will have strong chances for a February blizzard. Just going strictly off of statistics. This time of year I typically put the snowboarding gear into the attic and get out the fishing pole since trout season is right around the corner!