2006-02-25 04:42:00.000 – Jim Salge, Observer
Snow lovers rejoice! The summit picked up about half a foot of snow yesterday, in a heavy afternoon burst that caused severe whiteout conditions. But, with nothing to bond too, the snow did not last on the summit long, and the inevitable journey to Tucks will likely cause avalanche concerns today.
Today, the focus is on a clipper system that will cause textbook clipper weather on the summit. And exactly does that mean???
Clippers are small, compact storms that originate in the lee of the Canadian Rockies and travel across the northern tier of the US. Because they are so small, they rarely engage the southern jet stream, which means there is no warm air to mix the snow with rain. Though these are almost always snow events, the storms are typically moisture starved, and usually do not yield a heavy snowfall across interior New England. The most characteristic trait of these storms though is the cold high pressure that builds in behind them. These storms usher in the crisp winter feel that has been so lacking this year.
For the summit, clippers mean a pretty routine forecast. Clear skies followed by thickening clouds and relatively light winds ahead of the storm, and then a sharp drop in temperatures (possibly to -30F again) with strong winds after the storm passes. In between, we can expect a few inches of snow!
To learn more about the weather in the White Mountains, you can stop by the Weather Discovery Center in downtown North Conway all this week. Admission is free, thanks to a sponsorship by our friends at Attitash.
Jim Salge, Observer