Low pressure from Alberta Canada is racing across Maine this morning,Halloween Sunday October 31, 2010.. This 1006 millibar Alberta Clipperis causing heavy snow and rain in squalls from Baxter State Park southand east. This clipper is directing a front southward intoMassachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island where only a fewsprinkles, but gusty winds are occurring this Midday. The clipper willmerge with a power Newfoundland low that formed yesterday, resulting incold wind weather for New England into Election Day Tuesday. Thecoldest mornings of the season should finally kill of the last of themosquitoes and black flies that surged in numbers during last weeksOctober thaw. That 955 millibar low in Minnesota last week sent ourtemperatures to 75-80 Tuesday and Thursday.
This week we are tracking another potential big storm. This nextsystem that dropped 1" of rain in Santa Barbara California Friday istoday riding over the southern Rockies. Tomorrow we will see signs of anew storm over Texas with thunderstorms from Brownsville to Houston.Though most of the U.S. has a dry Election day Tuesday, this Gulf ofMexico thunderstorm outbreak will mark the beginning of another massivestorm, this time over the south and east. For us in New England, thestrongest High Pressure system in months (1036 millibar) will bepushing into the Canadian Maritime Provinces, pushing wind in from theocean. This wind from the east will initially be cold and dry as cloudsarrive later on Wednesday. Until then we have fine snow making weatherin the mountains. But on Thursday, the new storm to our our south willpush warmer air over the top of low level chill, watchThursday on Mount Washington as the temperature goes higher than downthe road in Whitefield. Cold heavy air north of the mountain will beover run by lighter warm air from the southeast, We will have a veryinteresting temperature plot here by Thursday Night. We may be 60+ inProvidence, 36 on Mt.Washington, and 32 in Whitefield. That 326 willby then be 'Old Cold', the last of the chill that is arriving today. If all the old cold is gone, then what happens to the big east coaststorm? is it all rain for New England? That depends on what happens tothe 'New Cold'.. Another Canadian front will be crashing into New Yorkand Pennsylvania Thursday Night. There will be snow on the west side ofthe Friday storm. But the major trough will by then be tilting negativenear Virginia. Negative trough means the jet storm over New Englandwill actually run from southeast to northwest. This negative troughcauses some of our biggest storms. But Unfortunately, they also draw inwarmth from the Gulf Stream. The cold on the other hand charges intothe Mid Atlantic States. It is still too early to say for sure, but thetrack of this late week storm may be far enough west, that it snows inVirginia and rain in Maine. There is some hope for Vermont and theBerkshires to get snow, but odds are we do not get enough snow to openthe ski areas.
A wild card in this major east coast storm is the fate of HurricaneTomas (To-MAS). Tomas smashed up homes in Saint Vincent as a cat 1Hurricane Saturday, will be a cat 3 near Haiti Wednesday. Haiti,Jamaica, Cuba, and Hispaniola all have to fear Tomas. Then Tomas may bepicked up by the East coast trough, riding north just off the U.S.coast into the storm over New England. Even without Tomas, the eastcoast is vulnerable to Severe Storms (Tornadoes and Thunder), Flooding,and storm force wind. Is Tomas is added in, then we have an even moreextreme event.
There is still plenty of cold in Canada, so do not worry about somekind of extended thaw. Ski areas will open on schedule, as the stormsget colder and colder, until we all have our first snow. Many of uswill have snow on the ground by Thanksgiving. I have circled November 20 on my Calendar, that is opening Day for Stowe. I will be here at NECN that day, calling the play by play on the cams, then I am skiing Monday the 22nd.