Good morning and thanks for checking in. Over the last 24 hrs the signals have been loud and clear regarding the storm system late this weekend and early next week. Things have not trended in a winter direction and my call is that we have a storm that tracks inland. This is against the initial hunch I had where I thought the Polar Vortex would press more causing things do develop more south.
Lets take a quick look..
The image above is a projection of upper air energy from last nights GFS model. You can see three clear energy centers on this image. The first circled piece is an initial low pressure system that will tack into the Great Lakes this weekend. This storm causes the Jet Stream to kink upstream (behind it) which helps guide the second piece of energy over Texas more to the west. Now the key always was the third component, the polar vortex, which you can see on the top of the image edging its way into North Dakota. If this was positioned more to the Southeast then all the energy pieces under it would have been forced more south and east as well. This would have caused our second bigger storm system early next week to form more towards the coast along with pressing the first system more to the east.
Below shows the difference between an older run left images and the new run right images..
Notice on the old images to the left the circled vortex feature is pressing more southeast you can see how on the surface projections this causes the low pressure to form more south due to the cold air press. On the new image the vortex does not press as much and the storm develops more north and west.
So there you go, I expected the press to trend and it did not.
So now that we are 4-5 days out here is my preliminary prediction..
A low pressure center forms in the western Gulf of Mexico and tracks right to west of the App Mountains through central or western PA on Sunday into Monday. Western PA and Western NY State may see some snow on the back end. Otherwise we got an old fashion rain storm on our hands here. I will tweak this forecast if necessary over the next few days.
Oh course the bitter cold arctic air arrives after the storm as you can see below. The good news is this keeps us in the game for other snow opportunities.
So as you guys can see getting a big storm is not easy but the good news is the pattern should be able to support more storm opportunities as we get through next week. Once this next round of cold air gets established we will monitor any disturbances that might interact with it. That includes middle to end of next week by the way. I know every snow lover wants to give up right now but I am telling you it is not time to do so. Remember we have 8 more solid weeks of winter ahead and a pattern that is not like we had back in December. Patience is key. When it is all said and done if nothing ends up happening my comments section is open for your commentary.