In Depth: Beyond the 10 Day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Currently across the United States, we have a ridge over the Western US with troughing ongoing over the Eastern U.S.

This has been the overall pattern for the past few weeks and it has delivered us many snow opportunities from the lake effect to major snowstorms. This has also introduced the arctic air we have seen locally Another piece to the cold that has been important is the lobe of the Polar Vortex which has sat over the Hudson Bay for a decent amount of time over the last month. This lobe of the polar vortex will actually be sliding off towards the north once again and introduce seasonable weather for us locally this upcoming work week but will slide back in this weekend.

Overall, the next 5 days are quiet locally. No big storms on the radar, and no big temperature swings expected. An area of low pressure will spin off the East Coast Tuesday with some interaction with Lake Ontario, popping up a snow shower locally. Then a series of two Alberta Clippers will swing through for the middle and end of the week. The first one will be rather weak with little impact, but the second one may bring some light snow to our region. Other than that, temperatures will remain near average before the stronger clipper swings through with a better surge of cold air on the backside. This will be happening as the lobe of the Polar Vortex swings over the Hudson Bay which means we will see another stretch of colder weather next weekend and into early next week. Also, this will open the door for some snow to fall locally. Right now, operational models are not showing much but the overall dynamics of the atmosphere near Valentine’s Day are favorable for winter weather across the Eastern US. Yesterday’s operational model runs did have something popping up during that timeframe, but have retreated their decision this morning while ensembles still hint at it and have done so for the last week. I’d like to see some changes with stronger ridging over the Atlantic to force this inland and bring us snow, but right now we are missing that. As of now, it looks to be more of a coastal player if anything but plenty of time for things to change! And hey, we have had a MLK storm and a Groundhog Day storm, why not a Valentine’s Day storm to keep it rolling. After this potential storm the pattern gets a bit fuzzy as models differ drastically.

The Euro and GFS are on distant opposites to what the pattern after that storm potential will hold. The Euro shows the lobe of the Polar Vortex swinging back towards the north with a ridge building over the Eastern US with the ridge out west sliding over the Pacific and weakening. This look will invite milder weather to make a move locally. This would not eliminate snow chances, but hinder them a bit. The GFS on the other hand wants to keep the cold in play through next week and into the following week. The GFS keeps the lobe of the Polar Vortex near the Hudson Bay with no ridging over the Eastern US. It also has a ridge over the Western US as opposed to the Pacific. This would favor cooler weather locally. The last time the Euro hinted at a milder pattern it trended away from that solution thanks to an Aleutian Low kicking the ridgeback over the Western US, and we saw a snowstorm out of it. There are signals that this may happen again with the Euro as troughing over Japan is being depicted further west when compared to the GFS. The GFS is signaling another strong Aleutian Low to kick the ridge over the Western US again and push in colder air locally. At this point, I am leaning towards more seasonable weather as models will come into an agreement in the middle like last time, but we will monitor for any changes. Although we have a fight between warm and cold late next week, we will have a few time periods to watch for potential weather makers locally.

Our second timeframe to talk about will be late next week (Feb 17-Feb 18). The overall dynamics of the jet stream look active over the Eastern US, and this one will have to be monitored. As of now, it looks like an area of low pressure will once again approach the Ohio River Valley and either swing north or south. This will be determined on strength of high pressure to the west and how strong ridging at the time to the east will be. Our last storm saw weak ridging, which is why it slid south. Then another opportunity for some active weather rolls in just at the end of this update, Feb 20-Feb 21. Once again the jet stream looks favorable for something to spin over the Eastern US. A lot of how the pattern evolves late next week and into next weekend will determine how these two times to watch pan out, but rain, snow, sleet, and ice are all on the table locally. The next update will come on Wednesday, February 9th.

Temperatures: Seasonable before cooler this weekend than back the seasonable weather with highs in mid and low 30s.

Precipitation: Near normal the next two weeks.

Storm Chances:

Feb 13th-Feb 14th: Potential for low pressure off the East Coast, dynamics are still a bit flat for our region locally but something to watch. Snow would be likely if trends show a storm.

Feb 17th-Feb 18th: Low pressure into the Ohio River Valley, will it go north or south? Ridging east and high-pressure west will determine this. Also, depends on how the pattern evolves late next week.

Feb 20th-Feb 21st: Another opportunity for low pressure to spin over the Eastern US. Not much detail on this with the foggy pattern outlook ahead, but be prepared for some active weather possible