One storm is hitting California today and a second and stronger storm - currently out over the central Pacific - will hit that “drought-stricken” region from Friday into Saturday. Both of these systems will cross the country, but it is the second storm that is likely to cause big problems in the Northeast U.S. in terms of snow and ice early next week. There is likely to be a dangerous combination early next week with brutally cold Arctic air just to our north anchored by extremely strong high pressure and copious amounts of moisture heading this way from our west associated with the second California system.
On Saturday, the remnants of the first California storm will move into the eastern U.S. with clouds and some possible light snow, but it appears that nothing too significant will come from this system around here. By Sunday, an Arctic frontal boundary zone will be setting up shop in an east-to-west fashion across Pennsylvania backed up by a very strong Arctic high pressure system extending from south-central Canada to the Northern Plains. At the same time, moisture will be riding along the Arctic frontal boundary zone and the end result could be significant snow and/or ice for parts of the Mid-Atlantic region; especially, to the northwest of the big cities. There are still lots of details to be ironed out, but there is likely to be a battle in the big cities between rain and something frozen – at least for awhile – but even in those areas “all-frozen” precipitation is possible as colder air slowly filters southward early next week. This could end up being a two-part affair with one storm affecting the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday night and Monday and then a second system from Monday night into Tuesday. The trend in some of the computer forecast models has been for a colder and colder solution for the upcoming event (i.e., increasing chances for frozen precipitation); however, the European model is noticeably on the "warmer" side and, in this case, it is an outlier. No matter what the result is precipitation-wise, brutal cold air will follow by mid-week throughout the eastern half of the nation anchored by strong Arctic high pressure. Stay tuned.
Finally, for some good news…the Phillies are playing in their 1st spring training game of the season.