So we finally got some decent snow but what now? The forecast has us going back into a pattern similar to what we had for 2 months before the storms with the ridge sitting off the coast keeping the storms to our North. The storms will not be that far North of us and as the ridge shifts back from from the coast a few times over the next week we will see the storms slide down far enough South to bring us a chance of some precip.
It’s nothing to get that excited about as we will most likely see more clouds than flakes. The first system moves into the Pacific NW on Thursday and Thursday night we could see a snow shower with maybe a dusting above 7000 ft. The weekend will be quiet with higs in the 40′s before there is a chance we could see another flake or two on Monday as another storm impacts the Pacific NW. There is a 3rd system on Wednesday. This one has the chance of coming a bit further South but still looks like it would only bring an inch or two at most.
The European model has continued to move toward the GFS for next week so the chance of a cold trough with any bigger storms seems unlikely now. The big difference between the dry pattern now vs. last month is that the Arctic Oscillation is negative as you can see above on the chart. That doesn’t correlate with more snow but it does correlate with high latitude blocking patterns like the one responsible for the storms we just had. The negative PNA does correlate with a trough and stormier pattern but you can see the forecast is for it to go back to postive which tends to be associate with ridging and dry conditions for us unless the ridge is far enough NOrth and the storms come underneath.
You will see that many weather outlets including the NWS blamed the above average snowfall last season on the strongly negative AO and the below average snowfall this season across the US on the strongly positive AO. The negative AO is associated with a suppressed jetstream and increased storms across the U.S. We will have to wait and see if a blocking ridge will setup over Alaska or Canada again in February supressing the jet stream South into the West Coast. The forecast models do hint at this for the 2nd week of February.
Stay tuned for updates and I will have more on the developments of the new partnership I’m working on with a meterologist developing a site that will bring you more tools to feed your snow obsession. BA
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