I know there is some frustration out there with MRG sitting idle thanks to a New England-style 60 degree temperature fluctuation. It is always very easy to attribute larger scale trends in climate to anomalous weather. There is some precedent for that as well since some well respected individuals on the subject have selectively drawn some connections, especially when it comes to tropical weather activity. In my opinion however, many are guilty of going way overboard attributing anomalous weather or a singular historic event to global climate change. Weather by definition is chaotic and there is seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily and geographical variability that trumps those larger scale trends in climate by a huge margin. There are also factors such as El Nino or the PDO which contribute to the behavior of a season and also carry more weight. I don't want to minimize the importance of global climate change as an issue. I am a big proponent of proactive action on this and many other environmental issues. That being said, El Nino and piss poor luck has been the biggest determinant.
With that out of the way, we have two potentially very exciting weeks of weather ahead of us. Warm weather will make another push at us this weekend and temperatures will creep above freezing by a few degrees Saturday. This after some snow Friday night as a weather system well to our north provides us with a nice overrunning boundary. Accumulations will only be on the order of a few inches and some of that will turn rather wet on Saturday with the warmer temperatures. Temperatures will hover around the freezing mark on Sunday with additional snow showers. There is a weather system that will approach later Sunday that will try and focus some of that precipitation somewhere but there is some disagreement on the "where". None of this is really that significant compared to the power of next week's potential weather (and yes that sounded dangerously close to a line from the original Star Wars).
Next week's potential monster storm (Wednesday into Thursday Feb 24th and 25th) is one of the benefits of El Nino and none of those benefits have done MRG any real favors this year. Another big southern streamer gets organized early next week and seems destined to explode somewhere along the Atlantic coast and ride north along the frontside of an amplifying east coast jet stream. There are a lot of things to like about this system including the possibility of heavy snow and multiple days of powder thanks to a possible maritime occlusion later in the week. There are also risks with this storm. The recent American GFS model did take the system way too far west for our liking with the result thus being less snow and more non-snow. As of now however there has been some healthy support from the various ensemble means for a big hit. I can hear that "here we go again" from the other side of this computer but to quantify, we have never had this kind of support for a big storm. We have had possibilities and the blog has discussed all those possibilities and we have more or less struck out on most of our possibilities.
We also have every reason to believe that the generally favorable pattern will continue thanks to a weakened jet in the Pacific and a large ridge over western Canada. More on that in the coming days.