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Snow Threats Possible But We Need A Ridge In The East

Snow Threats Possible But We Need A Ridge In The East

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Snow Threats Possible But We Need A Ridge In The East

Every winter a distinct pattern develops in how weather systems play out and it appears that we have developed a pattern of weather systems being influenced by a very strong northern jet stream from Canada. This is supplying ample amounts of cold air going forward for the next 10 days to 2 weeks. But the problem is that there is always the need for a delicate balance with the cold air that wants to overwhelm and suppress weather systems to the south and the warmer moist air trying to move northward. Too much of one or the other creates forecast headaches regarding rain or snow or nothing. The character of these weather systems has been to produce only small to moderate amounts of precipitation. A few weeks ago we had three snow events in one week. Yesterday began the next in a series of weather systems that will be possibly impacting us.

GFS MODEL JET STREAM THURSDAY NIGHT 12/28/2017

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Rather than drive yourself crazy from weather model run to weather model run with what the weather models are showing literally, it might be easier emotionally to understand what is really happening here. Whether we get snow or not here will depend on an East Coast ridge. Yes indeed we need more of a ridge in the East, not less. Note the GFS jet stream for Thursday night shows two troughs with a weak ridging along 80 degrees west. Here lies the issue. We don’t have enough of one. A stronger ridge would correspond to a deeper trough swinging around in the Upper Midwest. If we can get a stronger ridge, the trough will dig a bit more (or the reverse is true as well). This as forecast by the model will not pick up a weak southern stream system northward. A deeper northern trough would likely produce its own low to our southeast and bring some snow later Friday into early Saturday. Too much of a ridge and you wind up with a repeat performance of last night into this morning.

OVERNIGHT GFS WEATHER MODEL SUNDAY DECEMBER 31ST

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The same problem lies with a system for early next week. Here is the GFS from overnight which should ridging in between two deep systems. The ridge was enough to allow the system in the Northern Plains to dig down and around producing a major storm along the East Coast. However today’s GFS shows again the issue. There is not enough ridging in between the two systems according to today’s run at least.

GFS SUNDAY DECEMBER 31 NEW DAY TIME RUN

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When you compare the two you can see the difference. The new run just overwhelms with very cold dry air and their is simply no room for anything to happen. This is why the surface maps are do different with regard to the outcome early next week.

OVERNIGHT GFS RUN FOR TUESDAY JANUARY 2ND

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NEW GFS RUN FOR TUESDAY JANUARY 2ND

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What a difference no ridge makes! The lack of one means no room along the coast and a suppressed look with overwhelming cold dry air and all the development offshore. At the moment it seems that judging from recent performance, the overwhelming of cold air will win out preventing any major event and possibly any minor ones. The key will be to look to see whether we can get a little bit of ridging in the east to alter the outcome. Otherwise it will be cold and dry kiss it goodbye!

 

MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE WONDERFUL USE OF THE MAPS

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