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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Juicy "MLK weekend" system has my attention

So much so that I busted on the 8 inches of snow that fell Friday. Something I am certainly not proud of, but such blunders do happen and will surely happen again. Winter has a rather tight grip on the U.S. east coast from Maine down to Key West, Florida which came only a few degrees shy of recording an all time record low. Winter will loosen its grip and do so collectively so that every location will see a moderation in temperatures by the end of this week. Until then, MRG can expect some light snow from two passing clipper systems. The first passes well to our south but nonetheless succeeds at bringing 1-2 inches of fluff for first tracks time Tuesday. The second and weaker of the two passes right over us and could bring another similar light accumulation during the day Wednesday.

As mentioned we will get to enjoy some much milder temperatures later this week defined by afternoon readings just above the freezing mark on Thursday and Friday. This same period will feature a mix of sunshine and a high overcast which should allow for some good visibility on what should be some softened trails during the afternoons. Another in this series of clipper systems will then arrive late Friday with a re-enforcing shot of chill for the weekend. This system appears fairly dry based on the latest rounds of data but will allow for the much needed chill down ahead of a potential storm.

I say potential because it remains at this point just that. Most of the model simulations running out that far have taken this very juicy southern branch system to our south. A few however have moved it farther north and although there may be a limit to this storm's northward progression an MRG impact should not completely be ruled out. Working to our disadvantage will be the evolving steering currents at jet stream level which will have an upper ridge positioned over the Mid-Continent as opposed to the far west and will thus help to steer such storms out to sea. Working to our advantage is the juicy southern branch which will fuel this storm and fuel it well. The same areas which just received a heavy and unusual dose of arctic chill (in the deep south) will be receiving rain and a lot of it late this week. The trend this year is that this portion of the jet stream "rules the roost" and is making up its own rules as far as what weather it intends to dish out. Although the long wave pattern may suggest an out to sea deflection, this storm as many of its predecessors could track a few hundred miles farther north west and thus have an impact late on MLK weekend.

After MLK weekend there appears to be a pile of jet energy that will unload on to the Rocky Mountain west. It will be enough for a powder fiesta during the second half of the month across the southern and central Rockies. Unless this energy transgresses through to the southern plains and southeast, it will ultimately allow mild air to flood the eastern third of the country and give the region a thaw. The teleconnection indices which were so ultra favorable for a month show a sharp neutralization by the 20th of the month. This certainly opens the door for a rough period ahead but we should see what shakes out in the coming days.

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