Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Morning Weather Discussion: What Will the Next Few Weeks Look Like?

Good morning, hope everyone enjoyed seeing a few flakes over the weekend. As I mentioned in my last post, that was quite the front. I think it surprised everyone and reminds us that winter is around the corner. 

So today is November 21st. Meteorological winter is 10 days away and throughout this 10 day period we will continue to see a transition in the season take place. So what does this mean?

A very active pattern with a parade of unsettled weather events:

  • More back and forth weather 
    • cold days, followed by seasonable days
  • Snow mainly focusing New England higher elevations
    • Next few rounds of unsettled weather events should target mainly New England with winter precipitation
    • Further to the south expect more in the form of rain but with the occasional chance at flakes to fly
  • Thanksgiving day looks to be chilly with the chance of showers with highs in the upper 40's for big city areas
    • The weekend will also be chilly with the chance at showers on Saturday
    • Some snow should fall up north 
  • I do not expect any widespread snow events close to the big cities until at least the last few days of November if not as far as the 2nd week of December. 
So lets take a look...

We currently have a very cold air mass over our area. This will linger the next few days and keep things on the cold side with highs in the 40's...

As we approach Thanksgiving a weak low pressure system moves into the area..

Snow will fall to the north and maybe a few flakes mix in for NNJ and southern New England at the start. Nothing major expected.

Another system then comes through on Saturday..

This also should cause snow to fly in the interior. We have to watch this system closely as if it really wants to strengthen itself off the coast then we could see snow fall throughout the whole region as opposed to mainly rain. 

So as you can see here, the weather keeps throwing jabs at us through Thanksgiving weekend. The question now is will a big storm form in a pattern like this?

Lets take a look at the big picture in the week following Thanksgiving..

We have a pattern that is characterized by a big block of high pressure to our north and evidence of some ridging off the coast of California. This forces chilly air to the south over the entire country and creates areas for energy to consolidate into storms. In fact, some pretty big storms can form as we get into the 1st week of December. But will they be snow?

Again, I still think its the interior that is the focus here. I say that because we do not have a major key ingredient for a mid-atlantic or big city snowstorm which is a ridge of high pressure in the western United States. Sure it can snow without it, but the chances are smaller. What is more likely are storms that cut to our west, run into high pressure then redevelop off the coast. In these scenarios it is often interior New England that gets the heavy snow. 

Also, it still is early in the season so the air masses are not as cold as say early January where a pattern like this would mean more snow closer to the coast. 

So the bottom line is this. Winter is coming but it starts to the north and works it way south. As I mentioned above I predict the first wide spread snowfall for areas near the coast might need to wait till 2nd week of December. That is more than normal and in fact would give us a great start to winter!

By the way, I wasn't kidding when I said snow in New England. Check out project accumulations next 10 days for the mountains....

Ski season should be off to a good start. 

More this week as details evolve..stay tuned!

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