About Darrin @ ilsnow.com

Darrin @ ilsnow.com has been a member since August 20th 2014, and has created 370 posts from scratch.

Darrin @ ilsnow.com's Bio

I have been snowmobiling in the Adirondacks for over thirty years. Since starting ilsnow.com in 1999, I average nearly 2000 miles on my snowmobile each winter. On most days that I’m not working to pay the bills, I can be found on my snowmobile enjoying winter’s greatest pastime.

Darrin @ ilsnow.com's Websites

This Author's Website is http://www.ilsnow.com

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White lightning by Thanksgiving?

After record warmth for October 2017, the deck is getting reshuffled in November. After getting the first wintry blast of the season under our belt, we can look forward to more action during the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day.

Our present arctic air mass will moderate over the next several days before the next cold shot rolls into town around November 16th. It won’t be anywhere as potent as what hit us for November 10th, but it’s something:

A more substantial cold shot should become firmly entrenched by Sunday, November 19th, with a nice jet stream trajectory from Alaska & northwest Canada digging a deep trough into the eastern United States:

During the transition, we’ll need to keep our eyes open for a rain-changing-to-snow event around November 17th or 18th. It’s foolish to speculate on snow amounts this far in advance, but this seems to be an opportunity for meaningful snow for ilsnow land.

Looking further ahead

GFS Ensembles are latching onto an interesting pattern in the days leading up to Thanksgiving:

Normally, having a Polar Vortex near Alaska is bad news for those who love cold and snow in the eastern United States. But the presence of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO-) blocking manifested over Greenland changes the game by shortening the trough-ridge-trough wavelength and forcing the jet stream to buckle. This carves yet another deep trough over the eastern United States with perhaps another opportunity for meaningful snow. Read More…

Don’t fall in love with it!

Whenever I borrow something from my father, he always tells me: “Don’t fall in love with it!”

That is Dad’s way of telling me to return the borrowed item promptly when I’m done using it.

In a similar way, any cold weather we expect to get through at least mid-November and probably a while beyond should be considered borrowed goods.

Coming up…

The Alaskan Assassin Polar Vortex has been replaced with the East Pacific Oscillation negative phase (EPO-) for early November:

This allows for the pooling of cold air across Canada. But with the Pacific North American Oscillation in its negative phase (PNA-) much of the colder air in the lower 48 States will be relegated to the western quarter of the country and into the northern Plains:

What does this mean for us?

This kind of pattern usually means alternating shots of warm and cold, with temperatures averaging a shade above normal for the next 1-2 weeks. Significant storms generated over the western part of the country would generally take a track through the Great Lakes with their usual surges of milder air followed by cold fronts.

However, weaker weather systems could undercut the northeastern United States to give us a chilly rain or even some wet snow.

This is not a great signature for early season significant snows or bottomless cold in ilsnow land, but it’s good to FINALLY see widespread cold temperature anomalies in Canada. It’s been a long time coming.  Read More…

Beware of False Starts!

You’ll hear about pattern changes and rumors of pattern changes over the upcoming weeks! Don’t fall for the hype of an early winter just because you’re desperate.

The weather will become more active to end October. But that doesn’t mean we’ll have cold and snow here to stay. We’ve still got a lot of ground to cover before we can push into winter!

I’m here to sort out substance from the hype.

Thursday into early Friday

As long advertised, a shift to colder weather is starting this week. A minor coastal storm will push some light rains into ilsnow land on Thursday. Temperatures won’t be cold enough for snow where most people live and play, but the high mountain peaks near and above 4000 foot elevation may get some wet snow Thursday afternoon into the night as continental Polar (cP) air gets entrained into the system:

There is no need to fall in love with the cold, because afternoon high temperatures are likely to rebound into the 60s for ilsnow land on Saturday.

What’s Next?

In response to another steep trough crashing toward the eastern United States, a developing strong coastal may bring widespread heavy rain on Sunday:

The wake of that storm could become very windy and drive home a more significant shot of continental Polar (cP) air mass from Canada:

This could set up a lake-effect precipitation event east-northeast of Lake Ontario into the northwestern Adirondacks early next week into Halloween. Boundary layer temperatures would be marginally cold enough for snow. So a few degrees either way would mean the difference between a significant early season lake-effect snow event and a nasty, chilly wind blown rain. Read More…

Changes to end October 2017

October has been mild and dry. Not much is expected to change the next several days with warm temperature anomalies expected to stretch across much of Canada and the lower 48 states for the next week:

By the middle of next week, the game starts to change as a strong storm begins to develop over the eastern United States, probably due to relaxing of the abnormally strong EPO+ pattern that has held over Alaska for the past several weeks:

You can even see blocking high pressure over Greenland and offshore from Nova Scotia. At the very least, this set-up would bring a needed soaking rain to our area. The truly interesting aspect for us would be the continental Polar air mass draining into the storm system that may result in a changeover to snow later October 25th into the 26th.

For an event that is about a week away, it’s way too early to talk about specific snow accumulation forecasts. But this may be the first meaningful snow opportunity for the Adirondacks (outside the High Peaks) that we’ve had for the young 2017-18 season.

Looking Ahead into November

Thankfully, it appears as though the Alaskan Assassin Polar Vortex should completely break down in November and a new Polar Vortex would assume a more typical position near Ellesmere Island by mid-month:

The strong Pacific Jet would still be present, but suppressed further south. The would allow more numerous shots of continental Polar air (cP) and opportunities for snow as November presses on.

That being said, I don’t envision November 2017 as an especially cold month with the continuing dearth of truly cold air over the northern hemisphere as per the CFSv2 monthly outlook:

But hey…when you’re knocked flat on your back, you need to get up and crawl before you can walk. Then you can think about running. We’ve started in a really bad spot in October. If November actually ends up being a step in the right direction, we can have some hope for another step in the right direction for December. Read More…

What I am not liking about October!

We gradually switched from a cool, rainy spring and early-summer into a warmer, drier late-summer and early autumn. In and of itself, that wasn’t a big deal in September.

But now that we are getting deep into October, we need to step back and take a look at the big picture. At this stage of the game, it’s a near certainty that October 2017 will end up being a warm month.

This GEFS ensemble panel for October 19-24 is particularly damning if you’re looking for cold weather around here:

Having a strong Polar Vortex over Alaska is the KISS OF DEATH if you’re gunning for snow and cold here in ilsnow land or almost anywhere in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. If you have followed me for a while, you know this setup as the Alaskan Assassin! There is simply no way for the cold air to penetrate into the eastern United States in the face of that brutally strong Pacific Jet.

Taking a look further back, I’m impressed with the lack of truly cold air that we’ll find over the northern hemisphere October 19-24:

Aside from northeastern Siberia into Alaska and northwestern Canada, there won’t be any especially cold air anywhere!

The Winter Outlook? Or not…

Instead of tapping into some voodoo analogues and attempting a useless 3-5 month outlook into how this winter may turn out, I’ll state the painfully obvious: The northern hemisphere has to cool down a lot & the strong Polar Vortex over Alaska needs to break down before we can start thinking about winter. 

Barring some unforeseen seismic shift over the next 1-2 months, it’s logical to assume that cold and snow will be tough to come by through the remainder of meteorological autumn and perhaps well into December.

At this point nearing mid-October, I can’t tell you what will happen as the winter wears on. Looking back at my previous winter outlooks over the past several years, I can’t say that I’ve developed a demonstrative, useful skill at issuing consistently accurate seasonal outlooks.

So, I am not issuing a winter outlook. My approach will be to start with where the weather is now, then try to hit 2-3 week trends.

Wish I had better news right now, but I always call it the way I see it.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce. Speculator has long been one of my favorite places to ride! There are lots of options, whether you want to ride around Speculator for the day, or launch a 250 mile mega-miler. Speculator is loaded with businesses eager to cater to snowmobilers. Look them up at the Speculator Chamber and grab a copy of their snowmobile trail map. Be sure to tell them that Darrin @ ilsnow.com sent you.


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