Ok so this is the core of the winter and for the next 6 weeks...Feb 1-March 15 it's do or die to salvage the winter of 2012-2013. I did call for slightly above average snowfall for DC to Boston so I have a lot of ground to make up for the next six weeks. So far the maps show winter for the second half of February.
So what do we need to happen to get several moderate to maybe big storms? To me the NAO is going to become the biggest player with the AO not far behind. We simply have to slow this pattern down because the cold air is now available but the blocking and nor'easter formation is all out of wack.
WHAT IS THE NAO? (North Atlantic Oscillation)
It's like the traffic cop of the Cold and warm weather and the H's and L's on the weather map. Slow the pattern down the cold hangs around longer and allows the storm that come up the coast to explode and BAMM you got yourself a nor'easter.
The other factor is the cold air...ala Arctic Oscillation. This feature allows waves of cold air to come down into North America to support snow. You don't want too much or the storm will not phase.
So the first 10 days of February are not really in our favor so we'll need some help from elsewhere or look past the 10th of the month.
FEBRUARY 1-7 CLIP & DIP
We'll see a series of Alberta Clippers from the upper Midwest to the Northeast and Mid Atlantic. I expect to see 3-4 of these clippers before the pattern switches to the Lake Cutters.
So most of the clippers cross over NY state into southern Canada but a few have gone as far south as VA and NC. So we'll get our fix of clippers the first 7 days of the month but after that things change.
FEB 8-15TH LAKE CUTTER IS LIKE BUTTER...
If you are in the Midwest you'll like this pattern if you are along the East Coast and like snow...you may think this is a "NO". So what is a "lake cutter"?
The storm track heads through the heart of the Great Lakes often coming from the Southwest or west coast. I expect to see temps above normal east of Chicago and near normal west of there. Storms will be mainly rain in the east with rain to snow in the Midwest including Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Cleveland, Cincy and Indy will also see some snow in this period.
FEB 16-22 COLD IS BACK...WITH AN EAST COAST ATTACK.
You want a nor'easter this is the period it might happen this month. We'll swing back to the semi Arctic flow except this time the now ample latent heat and moisture from the south will get into the game. I see at least one nor'easter during this timeframe with 4"+ from DC to Boston. This will be the "one" we use to mark this winter.
Ok lets talk a look at the end of the month. I see things calming down a bit after what could be a wild ride from Feb 16-22. A few weak system but overall temps will sit near to above average with near normal precip.
MY THINKING ON THE FEBRUARY OUTLOOK...
BOSTON TO NYC (INTERIOR NEW ENGLAND)
Above average snowfall...temps near normal (nor'easter 14-22nd)
SYRACUSE ROCHESTER BINGHAMTON BUFFALO ALBANY
Above average snowfall...temps near normal. (snow period 8th to 22nd)
PHILADELPHIA POCONOS LEHIGH VALLEY SNJ CENTRAL/NORTH NJ
Near normal snowfall...temps slightly below normal. (nor'easter 14-22nd)
DELAWARE BALTIMORE DC METRO EASTERN SHORE LANCASTER
Near to slightly below normal snowfall...temps normal (nor'easter 14-22nd)
RICHMOND TO RALEIGH NC GREENSBORO CHARLOTTE
One snow event possible of 1-4". Temps below normal
CHICAGO CLEVELAND CINCY COLUMBUS INDY PITTSBURGH
Near to perhaps a little above normal snowfall... Colder than normal
DENVER SALT LAKE CITY (COLORADO/UTAH/AZ/NM MTNS)
Above normal snowfall near normal temps (a few goes ones in Feb)
I am going to stop being a negative troll and start thinking positive. Rob this was a great blog I think one of your best ones yet! I think farmers almanac might be right because they are saying the same time frame for the Philadelphia area for a big nor'easter!! I wouldn't be surprised if we get above normal snowfall this winter! it is now all about waiting about 2 weeks to see what happens! Hopefully, Rob we won't be upset when february is over!!! THINK SNOW!!!!
Dunno oak...maybe, doesn't look very likely. A dismal chance at snow at best, but nothing looking likely at all. 12z nam shows little shots at snow showers which may add up to 1-3" over a 48 hour period. Gfs said about the same at 6z. Not really any decent snowfalls.. But a chance at off and on snows for 36-54 hours adding up to 1-3". To me that just tells me to look for a coating at best cause its most likely just snow showers. Snow will fall then melt.
I know trust me,,,,,I'm not. Holding on to the hope that clipper comes more north....as I always say trends trends trends.....and this winter has been the trend of storms staying south...lol. my confidence on that coming north is low.
Hey Snowtrain...my prediction last Tuesday morning of a 4+ inch snow event to happen during the February 3-5 period may just happen.....for all of us I hope because the second half of February does not look good for snow at all!!!
It's funny you show the track of the clippers rob. Because this winter appears to be the exception, all the clippers are missing south of us. This winter is that bad that even the clippers aren't acting normal!
Yet again Sunday the clipper is gonna spin up a surface low off the NC coast and come north, ONCE AGAIN missing By 50-100 miles.
How many snowfalls have we missed by 50-100 miles this year? It's painful to see it happen over and over and over again lol.
The white flag is being fastened to the stick.....
I do not see anything good for the next 8-12 days at least right now. Again, I know some hope for the models to do a 180 on a run or 2, but the NAO is so bad to start Feb. I could care less what the MJO is doing.
Our luck, we will get a 2 foot storm in late Feb. or early March when most just want to move onto longer days and nicer weather.
GFS models and ensembles and the ECMWF are years apart on the upcoming pattern, with the gfd much more progressive, with even some rigging in the east, does not make sense based on where the MOJO is heading. ECMWF showing much more realistic pattern developing based on MOJO, lets watch this moving forward.
Agree Philly- Sunday is the best shot for accumulating snows in this area. It looks like a prolonged light snow event and Coastal New England looks like they may cash in once the coastal forms and heads into the Northern Atlantic. After these clippers move through we don't look very cold and it looks like continued progressive flow with transient dry cold shots. I have very little hope for the the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully we can get lucky and score a late season storm towards the end of the month or in March. This winter for me has been much more frustrating than last b/c we have had the some of the ingredients all winter long and just haven't been able to line it all up. Where as last year we pretty much had no shot all season long at snow and there wasn't much to track either.
It looks like Sunday is our best chance at getting some snow. How much?? Who knows. I don't even look past 3 or 4 days at this point, because the models have been baffled all winter. It's amazing that the NAO just doesn't want to go negative. We would have had quite a different winter if we could have slowed some of these systems down. I'm afraid New England may cash in with some half decent snow with this upcoming clipper pattern(late bloomers), but we may just get the scraps. 58 MPH wind gust was reported here in WC at 2AM this morning....still have power thankfully!!
These storms and this cold front tonight has been completely lackluster then what was forecasted. Anything east of 95 has been nothing but weak showers for the most part. The line of storms have been training in the same areas since 2 pm. I've probably picked up a 1/4 inch of rain at most. 2 days ago models showed upwards of 1-2" of rain. All the liquid that was on radar today has shrunk to almost nothing. The rain associated with this cold front today covered a very wide area from west to east. It's almost nothing now.
I'm beginning to wonder if this front is ever going to pass 95. Reminds me of last summers cold fronts, stopping at 95 and falling apart.
00z is much of the same of the last 2 years of winter. Cold with very brittle disturbances, then the big storm comes and cuts up into the lakes surges heights up the east coast with temps surging to 60's yet again, then a heavy rain cold front. We have absolutely nothing going for us this year. It's sad, but true.