I will be the first to say this is very speculative, but I am closely flowing a potential large storm for the January 3rd time frame. There is not full model agreement on this nor does anyone at this time have confidence this will occur. However, lets look at the reasons behind why.
Before we get into the situation on the 3rd, a cold rain storm will effect our area on Sunday night..
The cold polar jet stream is not going to feed this southern jet stream disturbance which results in a warm solution for most areas.
So moving on to the 3rd, the GFS has been the only model that has picked up this storm. Here was run from this morning..
982mb low (very strong storm) that would really hit the Northeast hard with snows. Don't worry about the rain snow line at this point, we need a storm first before we can determine who gets what. The model has NOT been consistent with this solution and we all know you cant go by one run of the models, however, lets look at the upper air ingredients that we need for this storm to come to fruition.
GFS is showing bigger storm because it try's to hint at phase of all three jet streams as shown below. I outlined the jet streams in red. Arctic is on top, polar in middle and southern jet on the bottom.
The european model which has no storm does not phase anything for this time period...
Notice the blue spot over southern Texas. It is holding energy back there and accelerating the other two jet streams ahead of it resulting in a flatter no storm solution.
Given that we are a full week out a lot will change with this and I am not ready to dismiss this potential very large storm. For one we will have a negative NAO (high pressure over Greenland, good ingredient for east coast storms) and a positive PNA (ridge out in west). You can see this below..
Of course just because these are present does not guarantee a storm to develop. The point I am trying to make is the atmosphere is very capable by this time to produce that big storm. It will be interesting to see over the next few days how the models trend and if they loose this threat completely or start to converge on a solution.
I'll update as more data comes in. Stay tuned.