Blocking Pattern Emerges As March Nears
Blocking Pattern Emerges As March Nears
This has been a very odd year in that we have seen 2 10 inch plus snowfalls in our area this winter and both storms along with several smaller systems came in unfavorable upper air pattern set ups. I am saying this to illustrate that probably for the first time this entire winter we are going into what is usually a more favorable pattern yet the opposite is true here. Even the most favorable pattern setup may not yield the results you want or expect. With that said all the weather models in one form or another have been signalling such a pattern flip yet this is no guarantee. The winter has been basically one of 2 weeks on three weeks off and we are on course for another one of those two week on patterns. If something is going to happen from standpoint of cold and snow, this is probably the last chance before the natural warming that occurs in the early spring overtakes any cold air that remains.
Here is a look at the upper air pattern at the moment and it could not possibly be worse for winter weather lovers though it is wonderful for those who like record highs. We have a trough in the west, ridge in the east and low pressure over Greenland. However in the next 7 days all the models undo all of this and we go to a new look in the upper air scheme across North America.
BLOCKING PATTERN EMERGES GFS MODEL FORECAST FRIDAY MARCH 3, 2017
For the first time all winter we have a strong blocking high that is forecast to build over Greenland. This is an ideal spot for a cold flow to set up across North America and into the Northeast. The trough in the west is gone and replaced by a flat ridge. The red lines show upper air disturbances moving southeastward in the northwest flow. Beginning next Friday with the first system approaching and last through at least March 12th or 13th, I think there will be one or two opportunities for some cold and snow. Now which system IF any of them become problematic remains to be seen. It is quite possible that none of these systems creates any issues other than cold fronts passing through. If the block is overdone, than storm systems will like track to our north. If the block is stronger than modeled these systems go by to our south and create setups for snow. Right now it would seem to me that one of these systems will attempt to take a track that would produce some snow. But at the moment it is impossible to point to anything specific. The GFS model holds the blocking signature right into mid March which would suggest a colder than average temperature scheme developing next weekend. One thing I feel strongly about at this point is that the areas that have received average or above average snowfall (New Jersey north of Rte 78, NYC, Long Island, Southeast NY, and Southern New England are far more likely to see a chance of snow in this pattern than areas to the south. This puzzle will remain unresolved for quite awhile yet.
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