In Depth: Beyond the 10 Day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Currently across the United States we have a digging trough which brought heavy snow to the East Coast, over the Eastern US and a ridge out west. The storm that swung through yesterday has begun to loosen the grip of the Polar Vortex over the Hudson Bay, and has begun to swirl back up towards the North Pole. However, from what once looked like a decent warm up has trended away from that due to Polar Vortex trying to swing back over the Hudson Bay towards the end of this week. This piece will also play a role on our potential snow maker later this week. We also have a ridge to the south of Alaska beginning to grow and this will have implications on our pattern as we head into next week.

Lets get into this week to start. We will see a brief mild spell with a weak ridge building over the Eastern US, but it will not grab a stronghold locally and will slide east rather quickly. Although this ridge will not last too long it will be more important to our potential snow maker than temperatures. From what looked like a Great Lakes Cutter over the past couple of weeks, has trended towards a snowier solution locally as the ridge trended weaker. The door has been opened for heavy snow to fall across our region, and a chance for a wintry mix. Details of this storm remain uncertain and precipitation type and how much will be determined based of intensity rather than track. One model is showing a weaker wave riding along a cold front which keeps us on the colder side with snow, but keeps the heaviest of the snow on south. Another model has shown signs of heavy snow falling locally as low pressure gathers strength and instead of being a flat wave, a circulation forms with more energy and more moisture. If the stronger solution were to take over than track will be important as there will be a sharp cutoff between heavy snow and virtually nothing. No "Yellow Alert" has been issued for the region as we await more consistency from modeling, but do be prepared for snowfall accumulations Thursday into Friday. After this storm passes, regardless of snow totals, another surge of Arctic air will swing in. Temperatures towards the end of the week and into next weekend will turn below average once again and stay there into early next week.

With the temperatures remaining on the colder side, our next storm chance will have the opportunity for more snow. Right now the jet stream remains flat, but our next timeframe for unsettled weather will be around Feb 6th & 7th. Models have been spitting up something along the East Coast during this timeframe, but the jet stream remains flat over the Southeast. We would need more of a kink north to see this chance come into play, but we will keep our eyes on this timeframe for something to track. After this the active pattern will continue. Our next chance for snow will come towards the following weekend (Feb 11th-13th). Obviously near two weeks things are uncertain, but the jet stream dynamics will become favorable for low pressure to try and skirt along the East Coast. Eyes will be on this one, but a better chance for milder air will try and be a part of this system and introduce the chance for mixing and rain.

Those are our storm chances, but what about the overall weather pattern the next two weeks? Things become interesting towards next week as models continue to bicker which signifies uncertainty. This weekend, the ridge that is setting up south of Alaska will actually slide east and over the Western US once again. Over the past couple of updates we mentioned that it this ridge would try and settle to the south of Alaska rather than the Western US, but an Aleutian Low had other plans. A strong Aleutian Low will intensify towards the middle of this week and move towards the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. This low will have enough strength to kick the ridge east and let it settle over the Western US rather than south of Alaska. This is why cooler weather is now favored next weekend and into early next week. Towards the tail end of next week the uncertainty pops back in. It’s is not with the ridge, but the strength of Polar Vortex that will slide back in over the Hudson Bay. After a quick stint sliding north, a lobe of the Polar vortex will again slide over the Hudson Bay towards the middle of this week. It will remain there through next week, but the intensity remains in question. One models is showing a weaker lobe while the other is stronger. This will have impacts on the overall flow as the stronger model has cross polar flow. The cross polar flow will allow arctic air to swing back in locally towards the tail end of next week, while the weaker lobe will keep the cold air to our north and favor wilder air locally. The model that is showing colder weather has done better this season in regards the the medium range and with that we are favoring cooler weather towards the tail end of next week. Our next update will come on Wednesday February 2nd.

Temperatures: Seasonable before turning below average late this week and next weekend. Uncertainty is somewhat high for late next week, but below average temperatures are favored as of now.

Precipitation: Above average the next two weeks.

Storm Chances:

February 3rd-4th: Low pressure will likely track over us or to our south. Snow and a wintry mix are more favored than rain at the moment. Totals remain in question, will be determined on strength.

February 6th-7th: Models have signaled for something to pop up during this timeframe, but the jet stream remains flat. Not high odds for something as of now, but eyes are on the East Coast.

February 11th-13th: Another shot for low pressure to be along the East Coast, cold air availability is in question at this moment so rain and snow possible.