First Alert In-Depth: Beyond the 10 Day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Here we go, it is Wednesday which means another update to "Beyond the 10 Day," and another update on our search for storms and winter.

Currently across the United States, the jet stream is taking a general west to east flow from California through New England. No big dips in the jet locally or across the US, at least not as of yet. A lot of energy is expected to move into the Western US through Christmas which will create a lot of unsettled weather with rain and snow for those locations while we stay on the quieter side of things. Folks out in the mountains in the western U.S. can expect anywhere from 2-4 feet of snow over the next few days, and some locations may see near 100" of snow through Christmas.

Unfortunately, we won’t get a taste of that and moving forward with our pattern continuing to look unimpressive. The continued storminess out west, along with a weak southeast ridge, will keep us on the milder side of things and the less active side of things moving forward.

As we move forward through the rest of this week, things will be generally quiet. Yes, we have some light snow chances tonight and Thursday night, but in terms of big impact events into Christmas we stay quiet. Our storm expected for Christmas will be a warmer storm with any snow showers over to rain showers quickly late Christmas Eve night.

Also, thinking about a White Christmas? More than likely not going to happen as temperatures through the next few days will quickly melt any snow that sticks heading into the holiday. Our quiet pattern is thanks to ongoing storminess and troughing over the Western US. This setup keeps the active weather and colder weather well west of our region, and also keeps the Southeast ridge going. This Southeast ridge is not strong, but it is just enough to keep the overall jet stream near or over us and keep our temperatures above freezing. This will also keep the storm track north of us or over us, hence the rain showers expected into Christmas. Even into New Years week, things don’t look favorable for snow across the area.

Next week, the same pattern that we are seeing right now will likely persist. Blocking remains over Alaska and Greenland, but the troughing over the Western US puts the blocking to waste. Even though we may not see all snow, or significant snow next week, there is a bit of unsettled weather expected to roll in. Our next storm chance comes Wednesday, December 29th. At this point, nothing screams out snow.

There is very little support from ensemble forecasting and the jet stream remains dipped over the west and moving north through the northeast. This will once again keep us on the warmer side of things with rain showers expected. We are also watching out for the winds with this system. The strength of gusts will depend on the strength of low pressure, but models are signaling winds to pick up a bit on Wednesday. No significant gusts are expected at this time, but we will keep you updated.

After this storm moves through, it looks like we will gear up for another opportunity for unsettled weather as we head into New Year’s. Our next storm chance, whether rain or snow, likely comes New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. The overall pattern will remain the same into New Year’s, which means this storm will likely be another northern tracked storm. Although blocking is present across North America, the lack of ridging over the Western US will keep us on the milder side with a slim chance for snow heading into the new year. After the new year, models are trying to switch things up a bit with a chance for colder air to swing in locally.

However, the part that makes me wary of this look is the continued troughing over the western U.S. There is no support right now for things to break out west, and until that break I feel like we will continue this bleak winter pattern. Although we may not see snow, we do have a time period in which to look out for. We will once again be tracking the chance for active weather near the 4th of January. The jet stream will again turn active over the eastern U.S., an although models are signaling a "cooler" period for us, I still think we will be on the milder side of things.

Obviously being two weeks away, things will change, but the continued troughing over the Western US will continue to put a large wrench in any ideas for snow locally. Overall not much change from our last update on Sunday as things generally look unimpressive for snow, but it does look like more active weather chances towards the beginning of the new year. Merry Christmas, and the next update will come on Sunday December 26th.

Temperatures: Generally near normal, to slightly above average over the next two weeks

Precipitation: Near normal.

Time Periods to Watch:

December 25th: Snow showers quickly over to rain showers, warm front lifts north.

December 29th: Potential Great Lakes Cutter, likely on the milder side once again. Watching for gustier winds depending on strength.

December 31-January 1: Troughing remains over the Western US, likely keeping storm track north.

January 4-January 5: Better chance for some snow, need to see troughing break down out west.