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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trying to make the most of very limited amounts of cold weather

It's winter again and interior New England is about the only place east of the Mississippi River seeing any of it. The west is about to get another stormy onslaught and that storminess will progress across the country and keep the forecasting relatively busy as we get to next week's outlook. The weather pattern is not a cold one and won't allow for much in the way of cold air to be available. By the end of next week, the weather pattern is still expected to turn more supportive but this remains more than a week away.

We have a couple of dry and mild days ahead of us, more typical of March than January with temperatures in the high 30's during the day and 20's during the night. Not idea by any stretch but better than what the excess warmth which will grip much of the Upper Midwest through the weekend. The forecast has also dried out late Friday into Saturday. There was a risk of some sleet or freezing rain has diminished. If we see any of that it will be pretty minimal; in fact much of the weekend will be dry and tranquil with good visibility and nothing more than a high overcast if even that.

Meanwhile a monster of a storm will spin its way into significance in the Lower Mississippi Valley late this weekend. This storm will be a big severe weather producer across the Southeast U.S. and will advance toward the Mid-Atlantic coastline on Monday with a ginormous amount moisture. It is a very favorable track for a big snow but we are really lacking on the cold air as mentioned. With this said, the game has gotten just a little closer in the last 24 hours. There is notable jet streak near the Davis Straits and this becomes the "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobe, you're my only hope" moment. Could this feature be the 2nd in a week to save us from rain ? We need temperatures to be about 3-4 degrees cooler than currently forecast to turn this into an elevation event. 5-6 degrees cooler and we could be in for a lot of snow. The aforementioned feature needs to supply us with just a little more cold air and we are off to the races. Yeah, this still just a little better than a  pipe dream but worth noting because of the strength and size of this storm. Though not the most likely outcome, a few degrees cooler and we could receive more than 2 feet of elevation sensitive snow. Worth watching for early next week but lets keep expectations in check for now.

Gradually temperatures will turn cooler as the week progresses but readings will remain well above average (even if it snows on Monday and Tuesday). By Friday we could see the impact of another storm system which will likely be the trigger for a more substantial cool down. Weaker disturbances during the middle of the week could provide a little snow or mixed precipitation but anything after Friday should fall in the form of snow. The softening jet in the Pacific and the building ridge across western Canada should make for the most ideal period since December in the days leading up to and into February.


Colin Gilbert said...

"Luke, you must go to the Degobah system. There a master Jedi named Yoda will teach you how to keep an edge on 3 inches of solid ice that this approaching storm will surely leave us with. If you are to succeed, your reward will be great. A chocolate covered waffle and a tall can of Heady Topper await you. May the force be with you." - Okemo Wan Kenobi

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