In Depth: Beyond the 10 Day Forecast

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Currently across the United States, we have a wavy setup which includes a digging trough over the Western US and a decaying ridge over the Eastern US. The ridge, which has provided us a Spring start to this week, will erode and give way to stormy and colder weather across our region locally. This constant back and forth, that we have been dealing with for over a week now, will continue through the next two weeks.

The constant shifting of the weather patterns is due to a lack of tropical forcing by the Madden-Julien Oscillation. A lack of strong forcing will let global patterns in the Northern Hemisphere behave on their terms and continue to flow freely without any blocking or hindrance. Like we talked about on the last two updates, an area of disturbed (or stormy) weather will move over the Aleutian Islands and kick the ridge over the Pacific back east and bring cooler weather to our region locally. This stormy pattern is currently moving over the Aleutian Islands, and will be responsible for the cooler weather shift locally through this weekend. Then, with the constant flow of the pattern, things will then resort back towards a milder stretch of weather as we go from the middle of next week and into the following weekend. After that? Well you guessed it, it looks like we will go back to a cooler stretch of weather into the following work week as things look to switch back. Overall, the next two weeks will lack any prolonged warm ups or cool downs, but the constant Winter and Spring battle continues.

With the cooler weather expected to take back the reigns across the Eastern US for the rest of this week, our chances for snow will go up. We have been talking about this time period for a little over a week now, and at the end of this week we will see snow fall locally. An area of low pressure will move into the Ohio River Valley and slide to our south on Friday to bring us some decent snow totals locally. Low pressure will slide to our south due to the “banana” high setup which will block the northern route and force low pressure to slide south. Also, this area of high pressure will provide the cold air needed for snow to fall locally. This will not be the biggest storm we have seen this season, but moderate snow accumulations across the region are likely with a decent amount of lake enhancement possible. A “Yellow Alert” has been issued for the region on Friday due to our next storm, and for more information in regards to the snow head to the “Yellow Alert Web Article” on our website.

With the cool air in place towards the early part of next week, we had our eyes on Monday with a chance for low pressure to form off the East Coast but confidence is increasing that things will not line up in time for it to affect land. The interaction between the northern and southern stream of energies will be a too late, and low pressure doesn’t form until it’s well off the East Coast and over the Atlantic. It has been tough this season to get an area of low pressure to hug the East Coast and the lack of high latitude blocking near Greenland has been the reason. Blocking near Greenland would force the jet stream to flow up the East Coast rather than out to sea over the Atlantic, and after a strong block in December things have been absent over the last two months with no sign of things to change moving forward.

With the lack of blocking anywhere in the atmosphere, a milder stretch of weather is expected towards the middle and end of next week. With milder weather in place we have the opportunity for unsettled weather locally, but this one will be tough to get the cold air in place for snow to fall. Things next week generally are quiet until we move into the end of the week. Our next chance for unsettled weather will come around Saturday, March 5th. Signs are pointing towards an area of low pressure moving into the Great Lakes region once again. Track will obviously be important, but snow will be tough to squeeze out locally. Right now, high pressure is too slow, and the ridge over the Eastern US is too strong for a southerly tracked system. Things may change as the overall pattern is similar to the one for Friday’s storm, but big changes would need to happen to favor a colder solution. Then towards the tail end of this update, we have another chance for unsettled weather.

The next opportunity will fall around Tuesday, March 8th. Signs are pointing towards another storm focusing in on the Ohio River Valley and then either moving north or south of us. This one may be a bit different though. Another push of cold air will be possible towards the early part of that week after our potential Saturday storm, and may be enough for snow to fall. High pressure will be important as this will determine whether it slides south or moves north. Another “banana” high setup would favor a southerly pushed storm, but if high pressure arrives too late than a northern track will be likely. Also, the breakdown of the eastern ridge will be important. Too strong of a ridge won’t allow high pressure to move in quick enough while a weaker ridge will let high pressure slide in faster. Something to watch, but nearly two weeks away. The theme of this update is that the battle between Winter and Spring continues, but Winter is not over. Our next update will come on Sunday February 27th.

Temperatures: If you average it together over the next two weeks, near normal temperatures are expected. However, the constant flow of mild and cool is expected with not prolonged warmups or cool downs.

Precipitation: Above average the next two weeks. We will continue to monitor creeks and streams with the recent wet weather and melted snowpack, and with a few chances for unsettled weather expected we will monitor the already water logged grounds.

Storm Chances:

February 25th: Low pressure slides to our south with widespread snow. “Yellow Alert” issued for Friday. Some sleet possible for the Finger Lakes.

March 4th-March 6th: Low pressure moves into Great Lakes once again. Track will be key, as of now rain is favored, but snow and a wintry mix are still possible.

March 7th-March 9th: Another situation where unsettled weather moves in as colder air moves in. With that, the potential for snow is there, but not favored at the moment. Rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain possible.