Update:

The new 0z GFS just came in and conintues to show storms Wednesday the 18th through the following Thursday the 26th.

Original Post:

Today is day 14 of the original countdown to the ridge leaving the West Coast.  It is now North off the Pacific NW coast and then we will see the ridge start to build over Alaska by the weekend.  The big snows in Alaska are going to take a break and shift South down the West Coast.

In the long-range I like to use the teleconnections and not the unreliable forecast models.  The forecast over the past month and a half has been all long-range forecasting.  Once we get within a week of possible storms it is time to start using the forecast models for the details and the models within a week have picked up on the teleconnections.

If you have been looking at the forecast models over the past 2 weeks you know all the flipping back and forth, but more than a week out this is exected especially when a pattern change is occuring.  We saw the stratospheric warming coming back in mid-December and the liklihood the AO would go negative in January.  The -AO produces blocking but the position of the blocking is critical.  The question is still where will the ridge setup in the North Pacific.

Friday would be 5 days out from what could be the onset of the storms next Wednesday.  That is when I start to feel comfortable enough to look at snowfall amounts.  Today we are right on the edge of the one week mark so the forecast models start to become more interesting.  The trend today has been for a better chance for storms next week.

If we had received normal amounts of snow so far this season I would be getting really excited for the storm prospects next week. But with the way the season has been going and not wanting anyone to jump off a bridge if it doesn’t snow I am still be cautiously optomistic.  That being said both the 12z GFS and Euro looked very similar for next week with storms starting to move in on Wednesday and lasting into the following weekend.

Here is the GFS for next Friday…

 and the total precip next Wednesday through the following weekend…

And here is a mix of the models for days 7-14

If you look at the right sidebar as well you can see the NWS 6-10 day precip outlook has us in the above normal precip green shading.  That is the first time we have not been in the brown below average shading in over a month.

The latest 18z GFS continued to show storms for this period and the general trend today is for increased confidence in a stormy pattern.  It’s not not Friday yet though and we could still see a flip in the next couple of days.  The danger is the ridge near Alaksa pushing West into the Bering Sea allowing the ridge to build off the coast and the storm track to stay just to our North.

Looking at the teleconnections and prospects for the long-range everything is trending in a positive direction.  More importantly they are looking to be the opposite of the past 6 weeks and anything opposite is good at this point.  The forecast for the stratospheric warming is for it to reload over the Arctic the next couple of weeks.  That should mean a liklihood of more blocking into February.  If you notice at the top of the page the AO forecast has it going negative.

With the blocking the block position is key.  Maybe more important is the forecast for the PNA to go negative mid-month.  That would correlate to a West Coast trough and increased storminess.  The MJO as you can see on the right sidebar is forecasted to restrengthen and move through phase 7 in the Western Pacfic.  That would also correlate to a West Coast trough and storms with increased chances of get a sub-tropical connection to the jet stream.

If we could get some of the cold air to come South from the Strat warming to combine with a subtropical tap that could make for some fun later in the month.  Looking at the La Nina discussion yesterday from the NWS we are holding steady right at a border line moderate La Nina.  A lot of times the La Nina pattern doesn’t take over until January.

So looking forward next week and beyond the weather looks like it should be a lot more intesting as we move forward.  Stay tuned…..BA

P.S. Can you hear the crickets in my inbox as the naysayers have gone silent? I’m sure they’ll be back the first model run out of 100 that shows the storm track back the North but I’m enjoying the quiet for now.

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