The storm hitting the Pacific NW on Friday may bring a quick snow shower to the higher elevations but nothing to pay attention to. Next week the ridge will start to push further up the West Coast keeping the Tuesday storm to our North. Then there is quick retrogression of the ridge the middle of next week allowing the Friday storm to dig a bit further South.
The models have been taking turns showing this storm coming far enough South to bring snow. Today’s Euro dug it far enough South to bring several inches. I wouldn’t pay much attention as this is just a hiccup in the pattern shift to the ridge pushing further up the West coast as the pattern slows and the trough digs North of Hawaii.
Next week is when the MJO enters the Western Pacific and we would expect to see the ridge start to retrograde the following week. There is plenty of cold building over Alaska and Canada and that cold will pour into the trough South of the Aleutians and the East Coast as the wavelength shorten next week. Then we will watch for the ridge to retrograge out in the Pacific to a position between Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands. That will allow the cold to shift into the West.
I have been talking about this scenario possibly coming in January with the cold pushing down the West Coast from Alaska pushing the jet stream further South. We just need some help from the PNA going negative or the MJO progressing into the Pacific. We may see both begin to happen over the next couple of weeks. Look at the forecasts for both at the top and on the sidebar. Today’s 12z GFS for the 2nd week of January was exciting to look at although noone would be foolish enough to make a forecast based on one run of one model.
See not only the ridge building South of the Aleutian Islands just to the right of 40n, but look at the Cahirs connection ridge from Alaska Southeast into Western Canada. With the ridge in that position blocking storms to go underneath where do all of the storms go? Ding, Ding, Ding… They are funneled right into the West Coast.
The following run of the GFS didn’t show this but it as well as the Euro showed the retrogression of the ridge away from the West Coast and out to 150w with a trough down the West Coast. With all that is going on in the pattern and the cold that has been bottled up to the North so far this Winter dying to come South, something has got to give.
I know the skeptics are growing and the forecasters are being crucified as if they are the ones making the weather. Many people won’t believe in a pattern change until they see the snowflakes falling out their window. I understand as I myself am feeling that way with this extended dry spell and the models flip flopping so much this Winter. But just think that the longer the dry spell goes the more the odds increase that it will snow because it can’t stay dry forever.
What I like that we haven’t seen in a while is the MJO getting out of phase 5 and moving forward as well as the PNA treding neutral with a forecast for a possible negative. The La Nina report from Monday also showed continued strengthening. We’ve paid our 6 weeks of no snow dues so maybe mother nature will pay us back with a 6 weeks of non-stop storms in January and February. That’s not scientific just me looking to the odds at this point. Keep the faith…BA
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