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Blog

Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

Filtering by Category: Medium Range Outlooks

2:20 PM | *Powerful spring snowstorm on the way from the Rockies to the Northern Plains*

Paul Dorian

A major storm will bring a variety of impacts to the Rockies, central and northern Plains from later tomorrow into Thursday that will include heavy snowfall, whiteout conditions, and winds as high as 60 mph.  The bullseye region for this springtime blizzard will likely extend from northeastern Colorado-to-central Minnesota and some spots in this corridor can see accumulations of 1-2 feet during this upcoming event.

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10:20 AM | *More cold shots are quite likely in the eastern US as we progress through the month of April*

Paul Dorian

The month of April began with a colder-than-normal air mass in the eastern US and it looks like we’ll have additional cold air outbreaks over the next couple of weeks or so.  Teleconnection indices such as the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) both signal a sharp drop in coming days to negative territory which typically results in the penetration of cold air outbreaks from central Canada into the eastern US.  Medium-range forecast maps of 500 mb height anomalies support this notion of additional cold air outbreaks as we progress through the month of April with “high-latitude blocking” in evidence over northern Canada and Greenland.

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1:20 PM (Wed) | *Big warm up for Friday and Saturday...another cold shot arrives late Sunday and keeps us chilly into mid-week…deep upper-level low in the SE US early next week needs to be monitored*

Paul Dorian

It looks like we may have to wait a bit longer for sustained springtime warmth in the Mid-Atlantic region as despite a dramatic warm up on Friday and Saturday, we’ll turn sharply colder again for the first half of next week.  In fact, there can be a second cold shot late next week that makes its way into the Mid-Atlantic region which would mean we may have to wait until the second week of April for more sustained springtime warmth.  In addition, there will be a deep upper-level feature sliding across the southern states early next week with cold air in place across the NE US/Mid-Atlantic.  This system could push off the Carolina coastline and stay south of here, but it’ll be something to closely monitor in coming days to see if it can make a run up the eastern seaboard.

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1:00 PM | *Spring begins tomorrow, but winter won’t go away without a fight…two potential big weather events to monitor in coming days for the Northeast US/Mid-Atlantic*

Paul Dorian

Even though spring “officially” gets underway on Wednesday, there are still plenty of cold air masses around the northern hemisphere and – if the timing is just right – there can be some significant wintry weather in the Northeast US and even in the Mid-Atlantic region in coming days. This time of year is notorious for slow-moving and powerful storms and there are signs that two such systems may have an interaction with some impressive cold air outbreaks.  The first event of interest will take place from Thursday into Friday and it will actually feature two separate strong waves of energy in the upper atmosphere.  Soaking rain is likely to take place on Thursday in the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor as a result of the first wave of energy and then the second wave will combine with an Arctic frontal system on Friday to generate windy and cold conditions in the Northeast US/Mid-Atlantic and likely numerous snow showers perhaps even some snow squall activity. 

Another strong and slow-moving system will cross the country this weekend and potentially arrive in the Mid-Atlantic region early-to-mid next week at the same time another cold air mass dives southeastward from central Canada towards this region.  It looks like this rather volatile weather pattern with strong and slow-moving storm systems will continue into the early part of April along with up and down temperature swings.

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12:15 PM | *Shower/thunderstorm threat later today/early tonight…”clipper” system can produce some snow late Sunday night/early Monday*

Paul Dorian

Unseasonably mild conditions today across the Mid-Atlantic region ahead of a strong cold front which will usher in much colder air for the weekend.  As the front arrives later today, the threat for showers will increase and there can be a few strong thunderstorms mixed in; especially, along of and to the east of the I-95 corridor.  After a cold, dry weekend, a fast-moving “clipper” system will drop southeastward and into the Mid-Atlantic region late Sunday night/early Monday and it can produce some snow in the region extending from DC-to-southern NJ on the south side to southern PA on the north side including the Philly area – perhaps even small accumulations in some areas.

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1:15 PM | **Powerhouse storm in nation’s midsection at mid-week**

Paul Dorian

All the ingredients are coming together for a powerful storm system to be located in the middle of the country at mid-week.  This storm will have wide ranging impacts from heavy snow to its north and west and potential severe weather in its warm sector to the south and east of the low pressure center along with hurricane-force winds.  The central pressure of this storm system is likely to bottom out near 972 mb (28.70 inches) late Wednesday which could very well set some low pressure records in that part of the country.

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1:20 PM | **Some accumulating snow on Friday in parts of the Mid-Atlantic region…frozen precipitation a possibility late Saturday evening in areas north of the PA/MD border**

Paul Dorian

Arctic cold continues to have a grip on the Mid-Atlantic region and weak low pressure on Friday is likely to result in a mainly snow event for most areas and small accumulations are possible.  Snow is likely to break out on Friday during the mid-day or early afternoon hours in the DC metro region and the early-to-mid afternoon hours in Philly as low pressure pushes towards the North Carolina/Virginia coastline.  The NYC metro region may escape with little, if any, snowfall from this weak system on Friday. A more important storm with more available moisture will generate precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic region late Saturday evening and it can be just cold enough at the onset in areas north of the PA/MD border for a period of freezing rain, sleet and/or snow before an ultimate changeover to plain rain.  This same system will produce a major snowstorm in the Northern Plains on Saturday and possibly another severe weather outbreak in the Mississippi Valley. Later Sunday, temperatures can climb to 60 degrees in DC, 55 degrees in Philly, and 50 degrees in NYC ahead of a strong cold front which will usher in colder air for the early part of next week.

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11:15 AM | **Snow showers possible later today in the I-95 corridor…snow threat continues for Friday**

Paul Dorian

A widespread outbreak of Arctic air continues to grip the nation and today may feel the worst in the Mid-Atlantic region as strong winds will produce wind chill values in the single digits at times.  In addition to the unusual cold and wind, instability in the upper atmosphere is already generating snow shower activity in upstate Pennsylvania and New York and some of these can make it into the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor later today with an isolated snow squall even possible.  The next low pressure system to monitor will trek across the nation over the next 48 hours and reach the Mid-Atlantic region on Friday. Snow may break out in the I-95 corridor during the mid-day or afternoon hours on Friday and there can be some small accumulations from this system.  Another system will bring mainly rain to the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday, but it may be cold enough at the onset for sleet and/or freezing rain in some interior higher elevation locations.

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11:40 AM | **Impressive Arctic cold for early March across much of the nation**

Paul Dorian

A widespread outbreak of Arctic air has encompassed much of the nation and it will actually get worse in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast US before it gets any better.  Record or near record low temperatures extended across much of the nation both this morning and yesterday morning and there will no doubt be more record-breaking cold over the next couple of mornings.  The next threat for snow in the Mid-Atlantic region comes on Friday, but it currently does not look like a significant event.

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9:00 AM (Sunday) | *****Winter storm gets underway shortly in the Mid-Atlantic region and generates significant snowfall in many suburban locations…widespread Arctic cold to follow*****

Paul Dorian

A significant winter storm will impact the Mid-Atlantic region from this afternoon into early Monday morning. Low pressure will intensify as it takes a track towards the southeastern Virginia coastline by later tonight and then it moves quite rapidly to a position off the southern New England coastline by early Monday. Significant snow accumulations are likely in many northern and western suburbs along I-95; especially, in areas north of the PA/MD border.  An Arctic air mass will flood the eastern half of the nation following the storm with way below-normal temperatures for the first full week of March.

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