Via twitter, I had indicated that the European Model had upgraded the Thursday/Friday weather system to a big hit. For the last 36 hours, this model had been the "lone sailor" lacking any support from other model packages. As of very late Monday evening, as this update is written, the American and Canadian models are finally lending some support for such a scenario. We have yet to see total agreement but we are inching toward one and inching toward a good one.
Our batting average with the clipper systems over the past 5 days is not particularly good for our standards. The last of these clipper systems will approach Tuesday night into Wednesday and in familiar fashion, will have its limited energy and moisture sucked out into the Atlantic Ocean. Flurries and snow showers from the very weak and decaying area of low pressure will persist for a good part of the day Wednesday. A very fluffy few inches is about the best we can do with this system and thus I chose the open the blog update by focusing on the bigger storm later in the week.
The playing field toward the end of this week will consist of a retreating polar jet, but the last of the Arctic cold is formidable and will be slow to retreat into Canada. The more relaxed jet stream will help allow the southern branch of the jet stream to involve itself in the action and according to our beloved European Model, ultimately phase with a weaker weather system coming out of the northern Rockies. There is still nothing historic of note, but a healthy phasing on the Atlantic Coast has not been a frequent occurrence through the winter so far and would be quite welcomed in this instance. Clouds from this system would advance into the region Thursday and snow would begin during the overnight hours and continue through a part of Friday. If our European is correct, we are capable of getting over a foot from this system setting us up for a winning weekend. As mentioned, the support for this scenario has been slow to arrive and we are just now seeing some evidence from the American and Canadian Models for such a storm. In addition, it remains possible that the southern branch component of this storm could move to far offshore early Friday and we would again be stuck with light snow and a lower accumulation from the decaying Rocky Mountain system. The "consistency" that the European model has exhibited regarding the handling of this system is at the least, very encouraging.
I don't have any changed views looking farther into the future. We should still expect at least a brief thaw early next week and some mixed precipitation if not rain to accompany it. The European and American ensemble packages are still in sharp disagreement regarding the intensity and duration of the thaw and then what happens in the wake of this warm stretch. The American ensemble package moves quickly to re-establish a positive PNA regime while the European shows a pattern dominated by Pacific air. It would be nice if we could do a little chinese buffet regarding the models choosing the European for the late week storm but shifting to the American next week. It doesn't quite work that way however and one of the two simulations is likely handling the upcoming weather pattern considerably better than the other as a whole.