Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MAJOR pattern shift

For the better part of the entire month of January we have been stuck in a very cold and very snowy weather pattern all thanks to the position of the jet stream. With cold arctic air free to spill south from the north, temperatures have been around degrees below normal for this month.

The most recent surge of cold air has pushed the jet stream so far south that snowfall and ice are expected from Texas to Florida and up to Virginia Tuesday into Wednesday.

But going over the next few days this weather pattern will break down from extreme cold in the eastern United States into a more 'normal' pattern heading into the first week of February. This will inevitably create forecasting headaches for the Midwest. The reasons are common:

1) The temperate will be closer to freezing (making precipitation type a bigger question mark).

2) The Gulf of Mexico will be open for business. Meaning moisture will be free to surge north...ensuring weather systems will be able to create heavy precipitation. Whether that falls as rain or snow is the biggest unknown.

3) The location of the jet stream will create fast moving systems as well. Meaning lead-time for exact details of an event will be lower than normal. 

Right now we are eyeing a possible high-impact event mid-week next week. The storm system is currently WEST of Alaska (The purple dot, we are the black dot). Please be careful over the next few days with those storm 'hypers' that love to get attention posting absurd snow outputs this far out. Don't freak out and stay put for more updates as we get closer. No hype. Just the forecast.