We deserve a break in the recent active weather pattern and there is, in fact, a quieter period coming for the next several days including a relatively mild weekend. However, this break should not be interpreted as the “end of winter” as that is quite likely not going to be the case. In fact, there are many signs for an important winter storm by the middle of next week in the eastern US which could generate of lot of snow, sleet and rain.
Temperatures will cool down some on Thursday following the passage of a weak cold front in the overnight hours, but then it’ll turn milder again this weekend following the passage of a weak warm frontal system on Friday night. That warm front could actually generate a touch of rain, sleet or snow as is passes through on Friday night in areas to the northeast of the PA/MD border. Looking ahead to next week, colder air will return to the eastern states during the first half of the week and then we’ll likely to deal with another winter storm in the eastern US in the Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday time frame.
Winter storm threat
While we are still in the “speculation” phase for a potential winter storm around the middle of next week, there are numerous signs that are quite favorable for an important system in the eastern US supported by multiple computer forecast models. It is too early to tell what the precipitation type would be in the immediate I-95 corridor from this potential storm – snow, sleet, rain or some combination – but amounts could be significant. There are numerous details to be ironed out over the next few days that will shed some light on precipitation type in the I-95 corridor including the ultimate storm track and whether there will be high-latitude blocking in the atmosphere.
Typically, one of the requirements for a snowstorm to occur in the Mid-Atlantic region is to have "banana-shaped" high pressure extending from the north to the west of the region. While it does appear that there will be this type of“banana-shaped” high pressure system to the north and west by the middle of next week extending from SE Canada to Texas, it is not yet certain whether high-latitude blocking will keep it anchored in place or will it give up its ground during the storm. Also, the storm track is still not set in stone as it ranges in the computer forecast models from well off the coast to an inland runner. A storm track just to the east of the Mid-Atlantic coastline is generally the most favorable for a snowstorm in this region and the latest Euro model and GFS ensemble forecast maps generally do allow for that possibility (above). Stay tuned – still plenty of time to go before this potential event.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian