Cold air will remain in place over the Northeast through the beginning of the weekend. Temperatures across the region will be conducive for snow making at night, and many resorts will be able to continue 24-hour snow making operations as long as humidity values don't get too high. Humidity plays an important role in the ability to make quality snow, and can sometimes even determine whether snow making is possible at all at marginal temperatures. Basically, the higher the humidity, the more moisture there is in the air, and the colder it needs to be to make quality snow. Conversely, drier air allows for better snow making at relatively warmer temperatures.
As far as natural snow is concerned, two separate but weak storms will quickly move down from Canada and swing through the region on Thursday and Friday. Because of the weak nature of these storms, they will only bring a few snow showers to northern areas, leaving no more than a coating to inch in most locations. The exception will be areas of the Adirondacks, Green Mountains and White Mountains that normally see snow showers that are enhanced or created by the mountains themselves. These terrain-induced snow showers are often referred to as upslope snow showers. Forecasting exact snowfall amounts from upslope snow showers can be very difficult, especially because accumulations can vary widely over relatively small areas. In general though, the aforementioned locations can expect to see anywhere from 1 to 6 inches of new snow on Thursday and Friday.
On Sunday, a larger storm will begin to track through the Great Lakes region and bring a change in the weather pattern. Warmer air will surge up ahead of this system, and will likely end any 24-hour snow making operations. Expect highs to reach into the 40s in the north, and the lower 50s in the south for Sunday and Monday. Although temperatures will cool a bit after the storm passes, temperatures will still be on the warm side. Thankfully, overnight lows will continue to drop below freezing.
Trail counts at open resorts will certainly surge this weekend, more resorts will open for the first time this season, and conditions promise to be great, especially for early season. So, get out and take advantage!
Brian Clark is a Meteorologist for OpenSnow.com.