Long Range Unfavorable For Major Snow Events I-95 Corridor Next 2 Weeks
Snow weenies are utterly unreasonable creatures. They demand non stop snow from November 1st through April 30th and anything less is considered a bad winter to them; bad meaning that the winter was terrible for snow lovers. They throw trantrums like 5 year olds who can’t get ice cream even though they haven’t eaten their vegetables. The cries are loud as they all march to the edge of the cliff waiting to jump. The reality is that most winters are ones of fits and starts with occasional stretches of solid cold and snowy patterns offset by warmer boring patterns. Some years they lock in for weeks or months at at time. Other times the volatility swings back and forth good and bad. Right now clearly this is for them bad. Let’s look at what exactly is going on.
The driving force right now is the Pacific North America index which is not only negative but it is what I refer to as “off the wall” negative. It is so negative that it is at the bottom of its normal range some 4 standard deviations from normal. This means that we have as deep a trough in the western US as you can get. An example of this shows up on the GFS model in the long range at day 11 which is out at January 13th.
Now when you combine that pressure pattern with the North Atlantic Oscillation you have an even worse scenario. That index is strongly positive but not off the wall like the PNA. The NAO is signalling a west to east flow which means weather systems move along. There isn’t much here to force storms to track further south creating cold conditions from the Great Lakes to the Mid Atlantic states. Cold air is transient at best. It comes in and goes out. It has nothing to hold it in. The East Pacific Oscillation or EPO is the one teleconnection that isn’t terrible. It will be trending negative into this time frame which at least sends shots of cold air eastward from time to time. There isn’t much that changes out through day 16 either which is January 18th.
It also hurts that the polar vortex is pinned way up in Northern Canada which means that most of the arctic air is trapped up in the Arctic region and there is no strong jet stream flow to bring that cold air southeast into the United States other than the occasional break off of cold air masses that manage to come southward. When they do, they come in, and they move out. This means that the only way something even minor can happen is if everything times perfectly. Hopes for that remain rather grim at this point.
There is hope however in one of the climate models after mid month. This particular climate model is signalling a change late in January to a colder pattern. However I would caution that this same model a few weeks ago had January in an ice box across much of the US. Obviously that isn’t happening. It also does not have a particularly good track record over the long haul. It would seem that the pattern for snow lovers is about as depressing as it gets unless something lines up perfectly along the way. That opportunity could present itself around mid month but it will have to be a perfect set up.
MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE USE OF MAPS
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