After a “gray day” of low clouds and breezy conditions on our Saturday, we will trade out the clouds for a healthy dose of sunshine by Sunday afternoon. Clouds will likely linger the longest in the Champlain Valley as low-level moisture from yesterday’s system becomes trapped under incoming subsidence aloft tonight. Overnight, where clouds are present, temperatures will be prevented from freefall vs. some outlying areas (i.e. NY’s ADK’s and regions near the St. Lawrence Valley) where temperatures easily drop into the single digits (with some below-zero temps possible). Expect a low around 15 degrees for the Champlain Valley.

Temperatures on Sunday will still be cold with wind chill values in the single digits for most of the daylight hours. This is courteous of the persistent northerly wind imposed by a tight pressure gradient between our system from yesterday (now stalled off the New England Coast) and high pressure now south of James Bay (trying to nudge its way in for both Sunday and Monday). Ultimately, winds will be N to NW most of Sunday afternoon between 10 and 15 mph. The sunshine with a bit of fresh snow pack will look nice–maybe more from inside if you’re not a fan of brisk conditions…

Sunday night sets up what appears to be the first of two genuinely “cold” nights for the region. Single digits are highly likely–even for Burlington–with the one unknown variable being cloud cover for Monday night into Tuesday. We continue to monitor an ocean system retrograding (moving west vs. east) towards New England. Should this throw more clouds into the region on Monday night, Sunday could be the colder. Temperatures Sunday night look to be around 9 degrees. Some outlying areas looking at multiple hours with temperatures sub-zero. Certainly not out of the norm–just be vigilant if you have any outdoor pets and have grown accustomed to leaving them out on our “milder” nights of past weeks. Good news is, winds drop off noticeably in comparison to the daylight hours Sunday…

Martin Luther King Jr. Day could be a “50/50 split” across the region–with areas east of the Green Mountains clouding over by mid-morning while the Champlain Valley, S. VT and N. NY stay under mostly sunny skies–at least through most of the afternoon. This as a result of the aforementioned ocean system retrograding towards New England. Should enough low-level moisture be thrown against the eastern spine of the Greens, some locales could experience snow showers or even some freezing drizzle–whereas regions west could be under clear skies still. Best advice is to stay tuned tomorrow as we will know more an exact track of this system and it’s potential impacts. As mentioned yesterday, please be vigilant if traveling towards Boston, or coastal regions in Maine…

Beyond Monday, cloud cover is dependent on the track of the ocean system. Tuesday could start out sunny and then cloud over in the afternoon should this hang further offshore. Either way, a system races through the midwest in our direction for Tuesday evening. Right now, it appears to be a relatively weak system, however, the timing could make things slick in spots for the Wed AM commute (especially for the higher elevations). Currently it looks like a short period of light freezing rain late Tuesday night transitioning to plain rain showers by Wed mid-morning (in the Champlain Valley). Sheltered valleys might take longer to “wash out” the cold air which could lead to a more prolonged period of freezing rain/drizzle.

Then there’s the end of the week. Simply put: a larger and wetter system looks to impact the region by late Thursday night into Friday. Precipitation type is yet TBD. Some computer models have shifted from a colder storm to warmer–whereas others (oftentimes more reliable 4-5 days out) has been more consistent with this being colder than prior systems. For snow lovers, this looks like our next best bet at getting some fresh powder on the ground!

Stay warm–and enjoy your Sunday!

-Meteorologist Justin Templer