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Friday, January 7, 2011

8-16 inches this weekend but a drier forecast for next weekend

No big storm this weekend but a pool of relatively (or conditionally) unstable air combined with a deep pool of moist air should serve us well for the weekend. The region will get impacted by a collection of very disorganized disturbances but the above mentioned dynamics are supportive for snow and even the benign weather feature should be able to ring several inches of snow out of the atmosphere, at least over the high country. We should see some light snow Friday night and then some occasionally moderate snow throughout the day Saturday. 1-3 inches by first tracks time Saturday but the upwards of 6 during the day Saturday and additional snows Saturday night. Snow should continue into Saturday night and continue as some occasional albeit lighter snow showers Sunday.

The weather picture for next week consists of a very strong high pressure center containing relatively cold arctic air although not record breaking. At the surface it will be the prevailing feature next week with a very broad influence over the United States. It will thus be cold in a lot of places, especially Texas which should see much below normal temperatures for a good chunk of the week. As mentioned in the previous post, there is a storm in the southern Rockies that seems intent on moving east in two disorganized pieces. Its failure to phase into a single stronger storm and the broad and dominant influence being exerted by the high pressure center to the north is likely going to prevent this potentially potent weather system from developing into anything of too much interest to us. The weather as a result will likely be pretty dry next week with the exception of flurries Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures across much of the country will be below normal but New England temps will be close to normal.

The main driver of the pattern beyond a week's time will be a giant block across over Alaska that the various ensembles are handling differently over time. If you believe the GFS ensembles, its more of the status quo with the pattern anchored by two sightly repositioned high latitude blocks and another blast of cold across the United States. The European ensembles allow the block to become so strong that the cold is bottled up across western Canada and has less of an impact on the contiguous United States. The European looks like a classic La Nina like pattern with cold and snow confined to the north while temperatures moderate significantly across the south. I am inclined to believe the latter which although would allow the "favorability index" to be a bit lower than I have indicated here, should allow some weather to track in our direction. We shall see what comes to pass.

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