Feb 1, 2012 Brief Update

Forecast Overview:

– Colder temperatures, although still warmer than average, will return tomorrow to the area, with mostly cloudy skies and highs in the mid to upper 40s across the area, possibly reaching 50 degrees near NYC. Temperatures will gradually cool down through Friday and Saturday with mostly sunny skies, with highs in the lower to mid 40s expected across the area for both days.

– There is still some uncertainty for a weekend storm potential, which the GFS and NAM show for Sunday with possible snow in parts of the area, and the CMC/ECMWF show for Monday into Tuesday. I am siding with a scenario closer to the CMC and ECMWF at this time, with dry conditions lasting through Sunday with temperatures still in the lower to mid 40s, followed by slightly warmer temperatures for Monday and possibly Tuesday along with a chance of showers. No significant rain is expected in this time frame.

– Looking towards the middle of next week and beyond, most models push the polar vortex south towards central Canada, with mostly established ridging near the western US by that time. By now, there is little doubt that changes will happen in the pattern, especially considering the consistency of these solutions and the fact that this is entering the 7-day range, not staying beyond 10 days as the previous failed pattern change attempts through early January were. Although the changes in the pattern are not expected to be big and will most likely be temporary, with a warmer second half of February appearing more likely, there is still a small window of opportunity, likely between February 10 and 15, to get a potential snow event in the area. It is not a guarantee that it will snow in the area, but rather a time frame when the pattern may be the most supportive of such an event. This may be one of the only opportunities to see a bigger snowstorm this winter; should the pattern return to its original position in the second half of February, by the next time the pattern attempts to turn colder, it may be too late for bigger snowstorms.

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