Risks Grow For Snow Early Next Week West Coast Storm Heading East

Risks Grow For Snow Early Next Week West Coast Storm Heading East

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Risks Grow For Snow Early Next Week West Coast Storm Heading East

Looking through the afternoon model cycle it appears that the risk for snow early next week from Northern Virginia to Southern New England (and everyone in between) is growing. Before we get to that it is worth noting the major storm that is developing to our east. The satellite picture shows a well defined storm with  an impressive circulation which is quite large and is drawing down very cold air from Greenland and Eastern Canada into the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states.


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That cold is a what I would refer to as quality cold air which is necessary for snow for the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. The puzzle pieces are there for something to happen, but just exactly what and how remain in question. There are however important differences that are in play this time around.

For starters, this system is different from the one from earlier this week as it is different from the one that produced today’s storm offshore. The one that brought light snows here on Tuesday had very little upper air support. The one out to the east was suppressed well to the south. This one has strong upper air support that actually gets stronger as it reaches the coast. Also it has room to turn northward and climb up the coast because the persistent powerful blocking high to the north is finally weakening.

The block is the area in purple on the loop of the European upper air. You can see the three systems as each one moved into the East. The first was weak because there was no room. The second found room further south. The blocking high  weakens and moves further north while tonight’s ocean storm heads for the North Atlantic leaving room in between for the next system to amplify as it reaches the coast.

Now we have the surface to look at. It seems to set up in a bullish pattern with cold high pressure in Eastern Canada that doesn’t give way much if at all. Cold air wedges south down the East Coast east of the Appalachians. Low pressure heads across the lower Ohio Valley. The primary low dies out. The secondary develops in the Carolinas and pushes northeastward. Again there should be room for the low to move northeast and offshore east of Delaware and south of Long Island.

There are still multiple ways that this could change though the range of changes is now growing smaller. It is too early for numbers and you should avoid forecast shopping. WPC is bullish here, and more than any system we have seen this winter (not that there have been many). To show 70 to 90% chance of at least 2 to 3 inches in their long range day 4 forecast is a rather confident statement regarding this storm. Specific numbers will come out over the weekend from me at least and from the weather service which is would be a far more appropriate time for amount speculation.

Meanwhile as far as tonight is concerned, it will be very cold and windy. Friday morning we will see lows in the teens with single digits north and west of the coast.

Friday will be a very cold day with sunshine and clouds, strong gusty winds and temperatures that will probably be not much higher than the low to mid 20s and colder areas north of the coast will have a tough time even getting back to 20! Wind chills will be in the single digits and low teens.

On to very cold weekend with Saturday morning lows in the low to mid 20s with single digits inland. Saturday will be sunny breezy and cold with most highs in the 20s. Then we turn our attention to the next storm system headed our way for later Sunday and Monday. Sunday look for sun and arriving clouds. Highs will be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.




Please note that with regards to any severe weather,  tropical storms, or hurricanes, should a storm be threatening, please consult your local National Weather Service office or your local government officials about what action you should be taking to protect life and property.