Busy Storm Pattern Has Snow Making Up For Lost Time
January 18 2016- It appears the pattern is turning in our favor for the next few weeks to allow for snow. Yes, there is good support for a large winter storm at the end of the week, and also next week, but we have a few little shots leading up to it. I want to proceed with some caution and note that I will NOT give any snow total suggestion maps more than 48 to 72 hours ahead of time. Regardless of what model show what… there are too many variables. But it looks like the grip El Nino has had on us will give up a bit, and we go to the other extreme weather set up. Plenty of time to get to that, but we can start to get excited. It is funny how many teachers want another 3 day weekend, but it could turn out to just have a 3 day work week 😉 There is a lot of information below. I hope you take a moment to digest it all. Faith in the Flakes….
First up, this arctic air. I’ve noticed the temperature product of the models having trouble with arctic air. Today and Tuesday should stay in the 20s, and only now have they latched on to that. It’s important since that part of the big storms ahead plays a role in intensity and location. So the long range temps below don’t reflect well with the storm suggestion.
Snow Showers Tuesday?
This voracity product I’ve ben showing recently helps to show the energy at jet stream level to support snow showers. Look at the drop southward for us on Tuesday afternoon and evening. This should produce gusty winds and perhaps some snow showers or squalls just to get you in the mood.
Another Snow Shower Thursday Morning?
There is a weak system crossing the mountains, but this will try to hold today for flurries or snow showers when it passes before dawn on Thursday. Again, just a little thing before the main event.
Upper Level Support For The Main Storm
The North American View of the vorticity product at jet steam level can be complex. Here is what I am looking at as the storm starts to take place. Note the teleconnections… the things happening upstream well to the west that will influence the building storm.
Also- The storm has not formed yet! In fact one of the reasons for speculation is that all the ingredients are not in our ‘grid’ yet. Pieces of energy over the Pacific Ocean only identified by satellite and some buoys. When over the US, we have much more details to look at and factor in. That is a main reason storm forecast improves within 3 or 4 days.
On Thursday…. What goes up, must come down…
A strong upper level Low in the Gulf of Alaska helps to buckle the jet stream
A strong ridge builds over the Rockies into Canada
That helps a digging trough near the Mississippi River Valley
The resulting upper level Low at the base of that trough will start to close off.
*This last part is crucial, since it will compress the energy, focus it into the storm, and slow down the system. Should this take place, the storm’s forward profess slows down making for a longer lasting event.
I am using the GFS Model only here. It was best with this past weekend’s snow, so I want to see if it has momentum to trust. Also, it will simplify how this make take shape. As we get closer, I will grab other models to contrast and compare:
Timing suggested here: Friday Mid Day for the arrival. Snow lasting through Saturday.
GFS Model- Notice the Low passing south and then east of Maryland. A prime track to maintain the snow on the cold side. Keep in mind that a shift of the track, which could result from adjusting the timing could lead to a shift in the heavy snow and ice zone.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this product is not fully accounting for the storm… thus the mid 30s on the weekend.
Another One Next Week?
This is way to far away, but storms do like to come in groups. Should the atmosphere be primed, this could follow behind…
Please keep checking back for updates and more details. This is not set in stone, but could lead to large region wide impacts on travel and events Friday and Saturday.
Faith In The Flakes: Show Off You Pride As The Snow Arrives
See all of our shirt designs here, hosted by local printing partner Ink Splash in Westminster available for ordering now. Orders now may be delivered after the holidays.
Please share your thoughts, best weather pics/video, or just keep in touch via social media
Get the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.