Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Morning: Colder Pattern to Set in, But Will it Snow?

Good morning. Today's focus will be on the period after our Xmas rain storm this week. Colder conditions will settle into most of the United States later this week through the following week up to the new year. This is due to a big ridge developing over the gulf of Alaksa..

This ridge or high pressure area over the Gulf of Alaska forces the polar jet to dive south into the United States delivering with it cold air. Here are the temperature anomolies for the peroid after Xmas until the new year.

You can see how that ridge results in most of the country having temperatures at the surface below average. Ok, so we know its going to get colder. Lets not forget it is winter haha we should be getting cold outbreaks. So how about snow. This is the question that I am really struggling with right now. A big reason for this is how the models have been so volatile this year. There has been very little run to run consistency so it really is causing a lot of headaches. But with that being said lets go back to the basics. We know we need a few components for snowy conditions along the east coast. Lets take a look at how the upper atmosphere looks in the days after Xmas..

There are a few positives in the image above valid for January 1st, but basically it represents the pattern from Xmas up until Jan 1st. So lets use this as a proxy.  The western ridge helps pour polar air into the country. The vortex aids in this as well. We have a continuation of the southern jet stream being active. But how about high pressure over Greenland? That still remains to be seen. We need to see a block develop over Greenland or in other words high pressure. This will aid in a east coast storm track. 

So basically given the uncertainties of how when and if this all develops, that will determine if we get any snow. 

Looking at the surface, the models are hinting at a storm systems on..

The 28th that could be rain or snow, looking like rain at this time..

And again on the 31st. This may be a better shot at snow..

That's all I got for now. We really need to see how this evolves. For snow lovers, lets hope we see something soon. I would hate to get past the first week of January with no snow. 

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