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what to watch fore(cast)

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Jan 24-31


Another coastal storm – There is yet another coastal storm in the works for the first half of this week as the Mid-Atlantic tries to get it’s first good snowfall of the season, and southern New England could be looking at a foot or more.

Great Lakes/Northeast snow late – Another snow-laden system will work into the Great Lakes and Northeast from western Canada at the end of this week, which could produce widespread snowfall on the order of 2-4″ with locally higher amounts.

The Southwest remains dry – An upper-level ridge continues to dominate the weather in the West as below normal precipitation continues in the Southwest.


While my map will need some improvements (especially to add higher snowfall totals to the Apps), my general thoughts remain the same with the “stripe” of higher snowfall totals, which will likely be adjusted a bit for orientation purposes. A final call will come out tomorrow afternoon. This storm is expected to continue to track northeast just offshore, which will bring some significant snow to the New England coast as guidance consistently hints at totals approaching 1-2 feet in southern New England as the storm moves by Wednesday into Thursday. Most of the snow should come from the back edge (NW/W part) of the system as it moves through and gives some areas a dose of rain and warmer temperatures before it changes over to snow late.

At the end of the work week, a low pressure system diving in from western Canada could bring widespread snowfall to the Great Lakes and Northeast, which is currently forecast to drop a widespread area of 2-4 inches of snow in these areas. Locally higher amounts of 4-8+ inches will be possible, especially in areas with lake-enhanced snowfall. The actual track of the storm has plenty of time to move a little further north or south, and could prove to be a near-miss for many areas or it could surprise some folks in the northern Mid-Atlantic states with some snow (or rain).

A ridge of high pressure in the East Pacific continues to drive a warm, dry pattern over the Southwest, and the pattern shows little signs of changing this in the upcoming weeks. If this pattern continues, the Southwest could start to see drought issues not too long from now. This is in stark contrast to the heavy precipitation the Southwest was seeing a month ago.

Phew! It has been a long day. More on the coastal storm tomorrow!

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Jan 17-24


Several wintry storms in the East – Monday through Saturday will be an interesting period in the East as three separate disturbances bring wintry precipitation to the East. Friday could bring the biggest risk of snow to the Mid-Atlantic, with significant snow possible in southern New England.

A quiet weekend ahead? – After the coastal storm moves out of the U.S. on Friday, a quiet weekend could be in store for most of the U.S. aside from some lake-effect snow and a weak disturbance in the West.

Deep cold moving into the Northeast – The coldest temperatures of the season are expected to move into the Northeast this weekend and into early next week as lows drop into the negatives.


The complicated weather pattern continues this week in the East as three disturbances move through the region. The first one will move up the East Coast tonight and through Tuesday, bringing some snow, mixed precipitation and rain to most of the coast. Interior areas are expected to see the worst of it as temperatures stay cool enough for snow and mixed precipitation to stick, while areas closer to the coast should change over to rain for a significant portion of the event. Needless to say, travel will be a mess at the onset of the storm, and the precipitation will become a concern again behind the system as what does end up on the ground freezes over.

Shortly behind this system, a shortwave will bring a weak but potentially hazardous shot of wintry weather into the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, with an inch of snow (or 0.1″ of freezing rain or sleet) possible in the region. The Southeast could see some light rain from this disturbance.

The Plains will see a shot of wintry weather on Wednesday as a third disturbance ramps up over the mid-country. the Central Plains and Midwest will get a shot of wintry precip. as the storm progresses eastward. Depending on the storm’s track, which is still variable and up to a lot of debate, this system could bring snow and mixed precip. to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast late this work week, with significant snowfall on the order of 6-12″ possible in some areas further north. The areas most likely to see these kinds of totals is the western Appalachians in the Mid-Atlantic and in southern New England (as if they didn’t have enough snow already this season!).

Going into the weekend, a calmer weather pattern is in place as no significant storms show up over the U.S. However, in place of dynamic weather we instead of widespread cold, with belows over almost all of the eastern half of the country. The biggest effects of this cold will be seen in the Northeast, where many areas will see their coldest temperatures of the season over the weekend and into early next week. The blocking pattern over the Atlantic has kept the Northeast relatively mild so far this winter, so the cold temperatures will be a bit of a shock to the system as lows (and in some areas highs!) drop to below zero Fahrenheit.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Jan 10-17


Tracking the snowstorm – With relatively large amounts of snow already covering parts of the Plains, Midwest and Southeast, Tuesday will focus on the Mid-Atlantic as the storm progresses into the Northeast on Wednesday.

Deep cold enters the Southeast – The coldest temperatures so far this winter are possible in most of the Southeast as some areas in KY/TN/AL/GA reach single digits and wind chills fall to near zero degrees Fahrenheit Thursday and Friday mornings.

Late week clipper system – An Alberta Clipper will bring some snow to the Northern Plains, Great Lakes and Northeast at the end of the week.


As the two centers of low pressure continue to battle for dominance, snow is starting to fill in the radar over northern MD this afternoon, leading to thoughts of DC accumulation as we head into the overnight hours. The southern parts of the snowfall prediction area should be done with snow, but I’m not guaranteeing anything with this system.

Behind this system, lows in the upper single digits to middle teens are possible in the Southeast (not including FL) during the second half of the work week. These represent temperatures that are 15-20 degrees below normal. The Southeast should recover this weekend as a system forming in the Plains moves into the Southeast and Midwest early next week, bringing a short period of above normal temperatures before moving through the area Mon-Wed next week.

An Alberta clipper will be just ahead of the weekend storm and will bring some light/moderate snowfall to the Northern Plains on Friday and Midwest on Saturday before cutting into the Northeast on Sunday.

Eyes are peeled on the storm system in the East next Tue-Thu as it poses a possible winter storm threat.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Jan 3-10


Another snow storm in the Northeast? – Guidance hints at a small winter storm impacting the Northeast this weekend.

Snow potential in the Southeast – Two systems, one during mid-week and one at the start of next week, both have the potential to bring snow to the Southeast.

Here comes the cold! – The start of next week will be the beginning of a deep cold period across most of the U.S.


None this week… sorry! Way too much going on at the moment.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Dec 27 – Jan 3


Record lake-effect? – Some areas like Syracuse, NY prep for another round of lake-effect snow to close out December. The lake-effect could break the all-time snowiest month on record in some areas in the wake of an amazing and amazingly-bizarre winter storm.

A brief re-cap – A few facts from the incredible coastal storm that rocked parts of the Southeast and East Coast over the past few days.

Mid-country storm looming – After several big cold blasts this month, a switch in the weather pattern will bring a potent storm system to the mid-country as temperatures rise to above normal levels in the East.

Cold in the West – Cold air will funnel in behind the mid-country storm, bringing below normal temperatures to most of the West through the second half of the week and into next week.


The lake-effect during this blustery month of December is already one for the record books, with Syracuse, NY racking up over 72 inches of snow in December, making it the snowiest December on record in that area. Syracuse is just 6-7″ short of breaking the snowiest month on record of any month! With another 3-6″ or more possible before the end of December, that record looks fairly obtainable. This all comes in the wake of a monster coastal system that rocked the East Coast with snowfalls of over a foot, including measurements of up to 32 inches in New Jersey! The D.C. are somehow managed to only report a trace to half an inch as parts of the southeast and Appalachians received up to 6-12+ inches of snow, including a little over an inch in Atlanta, GA.

A potent low pressure system will meander through the West around mid-week before rapidly developing over the Great Plains late in the work week. This storm will cause massive snowfall on the order of over a foot in parts of the Central and Northern Plains, with heavy rain and possible thunderstorm activity out ahead of the storm’s cold front from the Southern Plains into the Mid-Atlantic. This storm’s true potential will be somewhat limited by less-than-favorable upper levels, which are positioned in such a way that the storm can not “bomb out” and cause utter chaos. However, there is still plenty of room for development, so I won’t rule it out completely just yet. This system will push to the north and east and the cold front will move off the East Coast late this weekend, with another disturbance developing in the Southeast as we head into the start of the work week next week.

Behind this mid-country system, a series of weaker disturbances will reinforce the upper-level trough over the West, which will create temperatures that are 5-10 degrees or more below normal from mid-week through early next week. This is in steep contrast to the first two-thirds of the month, in which the West saw temperatures in the range of 5-10 degrees ABOVE normal. While somewhat persistent for about a week’s time, the long-range forecast indicates that this will not be a lasting trend.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Dec 20-27

Only highlights this week as I just spent a good amount of time on the January forecast and explaining it in more detail on the American Weather Forums.


Rain and snow continue to pummel the West – Heavy rain and snow should continue through Wednesday in the Southwest as more storm systems impact the Pacific Northwest throughout the next week.

Burst of heat in the Southern Plains – Temperatures 8-15+ degrees above normal are expected across the Southern Plains and into the eastern half of the Desert Southwest through most of the work week.

Christmas coastal storm in the East? – A potent storm system will track southeastward from the Midwest into the Mid-Atlantic Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, with the potential to turn northeast and drop snow along the I-95 corridor going into the 26th. Confidence on the I-95 turn is moderate.

Another shot of cold in the East – Behind the potential coastal system, much below normal temperatures are expected to work back into the East Saturday through Monday before temperatures start to slowly warm back up.

UPDATE: The weekend coastal storm has slowed considerably, with a late 25th-27th time frame for the eastern U.S.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Dec 13-20

Darn it, forgot to post an update on Friday about the storm… at least I get a second chance this week!


Another chilly start in the East – Tonight and tomorrow night will be quite chilly in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast as temperatures 20 degrees below normal and windy conditions put lows in the danger zone for many, including freezing temperatures into southern Florida!

Soggy in the West – Several systems will batter the West Coast from the Pacific Northwest down to central California this week.

Brief Thu/Fri disturbance in the East – Another weak system with wintry precipitation will move through the southern Mid-Atlantic and Southeast during the second half of the work week.

Potential snowstorm early next week – Models continue to hint at a potential East Coast snow storm around next Sunday and Monday, which could be the first big snow event of the season for many along the I-95 corridor.


Record-setting cold will be in place in the Southeast over the next two nights, with plenty to worry about as temperatures drop below the freezing mark all the way down into southern Florida. The whole eastern half of the U.S. will be feeling the chill, with near-zero lows in the Midwest, lows in the teens and wind chills near zero in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, and the risk for a central/southern Florida frost tomorrow night.

A weak disturbance will move into the eastern half of the nation Thursday and Friday, which will bring a quick shot of light rain and wintry precipitation into the southern Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and northern Southeast. The northern edge of the precip. could scoot just south of D.C., which would be insult to injury from last week’s system that performed a similar trick.

The subtropical ridge that has been providing the Southwest with warm and dry conditions will begin to break down near the West Coast this week as a series of disturbances relentlessly pound the West Coast with precipitation. These storms will track as far south as central California, bringing some needed rains into the area. Unfortunately, it looks like the ridge will hold on enough to keep the Desert Southwest from seeing most of the action. The Desert SW could get some rain Thu/Fri, but it will only be a small relief in an otherwise dry forecast.

The big event that’s still in the running for next Sunday and into Monday is a possible coastal system along the East Coast, which could bring snowfall from the Carolinas up through New England. While confidence in a snowstorm event, especially one that hits the coastal areas with significant snow, isn’t terribly high, models have hinted at such a system for a number of days now, including a direct hit via the latest American model (the 18Z GFS). For more in-depth discussion on its impact on the Mid-Atlantic region, see the last two paragraphs from yesterday’s Mid-Atlantic Week Ahead forecast. I’m being rather optimistic for snow at this point, though, with other forecasters being a lot more critical (and likely more realistic) with this system’s potential. The next few days will be pretty interesting in the world of weather model watching (and yes, such a world does exist for those of you who haven’t been to the American Weather Forums yet).

Post Discussion: Let’s not forget about the lake-effect this week, either! More in store for areas already hit hard by last week. Couldn’t fit it into this week’s highlights!