A rather cold day as we enter the month of February with a very cold evening on the way. What kind of weather will February bring? Let's take a look.
Back on my January 19th blog post I talked about the upcoming weather for the remainder of January and part of February and how it would be getting colder, and possibly very cold. We've had shots of cold air but not the bitter cold that we had anticipated. So what happened to it?
Most of January had very cold arctic air poised just across the border in Canada. But other than brief shots of cold here in the south, we haven't really seen much cold air. The indices had been pointing to a major blocking regime that would have forced cold air south, but significant blocking hasn't happened, at least not in the spots that are favorable for us. An active Pacific jet has overpowerd the other teleconnections and oscillation indices this winter season, but winter is far from over and I still believe that we'll have more chances for winter weather before it's over with.
Here's what I said in that January 19th blog post:
- Jan 24 - 25 - Stormy
- Jan 26 - 29 - Cold shot
- Jan 31 - 02 - Reinforcing good cold shot
- Feb 02 - 04 - Warm-up
- Feb 05 - 07 - Stormy/ good cold shot
- Feb 07 - 11 - Stormy/ cold shot
Since then the forecast has actually been pretty good, we did have a system come through around the 25-26th of January which brought us cold air, we just had the January 31-02 shot of cold air, and the Feb 02-04 warm-up is on the way. So far my original projections have been on target. Our next focus is on next weekend and here is a good synopsis of that upcoming period from a meteorologist in Texas. My comments are in ().
"Winter Storm Potential February 8th-15th
As the trough to our West deepens, a general unsettled pattern develops across the West Coast/Great Basin/Southern Rockies/Southern Plains as pressures fall and an increasing onshore Gulf flow becomes established. During the later half of next week the ensembles are in rather good agreement that a strong storm system will drop South Southeast from the Gulf of Alaska. This storm appears to have some colder air associated with it as it pulls Canadian air into the Great Basin. There are indications that a potent Winter Storm will begin to slowly develop and eject East Northeast along the southern stream and a clipper system rides East Southeast along a stagnant Polar jet across the Great Lakes into the Northeast. Heights falls across Alaska and a PNA Ridge develops off the Pacific NW flooding Western Canada with ‘warmer air’ while the meandering somewhat cold core upper low is energized by the noisy STJ (Sub-Tropical Jet stream). The time frame that is of concern would be near February 8th, +/- a couple of days. The guidance continues to hint that some NE Atlantic blocking may occur near this time frame. This is a complex and complicated forecast due to the influence of the MJO, a Kelvin Wave as well as a changing pattern across the North Pacific and a tanking AO. As has been mentioned, there are indications that some chilly Canadian air will be dropping South in the mid February time frame. With Clipper systems streaming SE along the Polar jet and an active Southern Jet, potential arises for wintry precipitation from the Mid West on East."
This active period would fall right in to the dates I outlined on January 19th and appears to be a very busy time for winter weather in the US. Time will tell how significant this period will be, but right now it seems that we will have plenty of weather to watch beginning the middle of next week right through the middle of February.
For now, enjoy the nice weather for the next 4 -5 days, I believe we're going to be in for some winter like changes in about a week.
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