CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR...
It was a beautiful day Monday, continuing the trend of above normal January temperatures. Here's the months departures for the first week of the month. Most of us would take that anytime in the coldest month of the year.
From the looks of things, temperatures in general will remain above normal through the next couple of weeks, although I do see signs of an end and of that period (more on that later). Here's what the odds for above normal readings look like in the 8-14 day period by way of the Climate Prediction Center. Most of my area is at a 70-80 percent chance.
The upper air pattern providing the mild winter weather is also becoming active with a SW flow component at 500mb The EURO indicates this a week from now January 17th.
As a result, much of the nation is favored for above normal precipitation as well.
The first opportunity for wet weather (rain or snow) comes Wednesday night into early Thursday. Overall, there is good confidence a robust short wave spins up a well organized surface low which develops a nice precipitation shield. Where confidence dwindles, is with the final intensity and track and it's likely to be another 24-36 hours before that is etched in stone.
Recent trends do indicate most of the potential forcing remains south of my area until the system starts phasing further east. Not only would that keeps amounts light and confined to the southeast, dynamic cooling would be less limiting much of the snow potential. With the storm just entering the better data grids of the west coast I can't say this with certainty but that sure looks to be case. In other words, close but no cigar. It's also been the story of this winter with the ingredients for snow events consistently NW or SE of my area. That certainly conforms to the norms of what's to be expected in a typical La Nina winter. Large temperature extremes are also a staple and we've certainly experienced that.
Anyway, back to the Wednesday night/Thursday event, here's what models are suggesting for total snowfall.
It does appear there should be some light rain in my southern counties that changes to snow briefly as the system grazes my southern counties. The EURO currently indicates rainfall amounts like this. Again, the heavier amounts are falling in the sweet spot for heavier La Nina precipitation as shown in the graphics above.
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THE FUTURE LOOKS COLDER...
As we've established earlier, no major intervals of real cold air seem evident in the next 10-12 days. However, the MJO on both the GFS and EURO are shown making a serious run through phases 8, 1, and 2 starting around January 12th.
The EURO extended keeps the MJO in those phases into February 5th.
Here's the temperature analogs for 8, 1, and 2 in January. That is the clearly a cold signal and it will be hard to deny the MJO its way.
I do think there is going to be a lag before the flip comes but around January 20th the evolution to colder temperatures resembling mid-January should be underway. The EURO ensemble January 24th has blocking going up at 500mb in Alaska and high latitude ridging cutting across Canada. That almost always is the precursor to cold. Especially with the AO, EPO, and PNA in negative phases.
The ensemble control January 24th is even more bullish opening the door to what could be an Arctic push
I've been expecting this type of set-up to show up for a week on the guidance and today is really the first strong sign the MJO is doing its dirty work. Maybe later runs will back away from this solution which would be fine by me. I don't like the nasty cold any more than you do. I will continue to monitor in coming days.
Meantime, Tuesday will be a fine winter day with morning sun giving way to increasing clouds later in the day. Highs should range from the mid 30s north to low 40s south. A keeper! Roll weather...TS