We actually got off to a good start in that department. Many locations were near to above normal in snowfall in early January, which was a marked departure from the last two winters. However, the atmospheric hammer seemed to drop on winter’s head, and it has been down for the count for weeks now. As a result, we’re staring down a not so good winter if you are a fan of cold and snow.
Meh. Temperatures and precip was easy. Only the last day of the forecast period was below normal in an incredible stretch of warmer than normal weather. However, I was humbled by the wintry precipitation forecast. It’s not like I totally failed there, but there were a couple of minor events which even in the torch of the month gave many measurable snow. Overall, I give the outlook a B.
Forecast period—Friday January 20 to Tuesday January 31
Temperatures—above average (high confidence) Check
Precipitation—above average (high confidence) Check
Wintry Precipitation—below average (high confidence) Meh
Two Week Outlook Summary
Week one—Wednesday February 1 to Tuesday February 7
Temperatures—above average (moderate confidence)
Precipitation—near average (high confidence)
Wintry Precipitation—below average (moderate confidence)
The first week of the forecast period starts quiet and off seasonable, but I suspect that by the end we’re warming up once again. The suspected storm for the weekend has mostly fizzled, and I think the only real game in town will be a storm on the 7th and 8th. It remains unclear how big a storm that becomes, but I think it’ll be wet enough to meet precipitation predictions and warm enough to keep it a minor event. However, things are low confidence on how much wintry precipitation falls on the front end...it could be more impactful than currently stated.
Week two—Wednesday February 8 to Tuesday February 14
Temperatures—above average (low confidence)
Precipitation—near average (low confidence)
Wintry Precipitation—near average (low confidence)
Week two is wildly uncertain. Some of the guidance brings cooler than normal conditions and a setup that could be good for wintry events, while some of the other guidance sets the stage for a continued march toward warmth. Right now, I lean ever so slightly toward above normal temperatures overall with an increasingly stormy pattern that will deliver some wintry chances.
The pattern once looked very promising from long range. That’s not the case anymore. To be sure, we’ve clawed our way out of an awful pattern, but we are heading into a period that at best looks marginal for snow. Until further notice, I’m out on any modeled solution that shows an extended period of colder than normal temperatures. February is a time were strong storms can pop, so we have to watch closely for rainstorms and well timed wintery precipitation events.
I’m a bit more interested in week two, but take it with a grain of salt. By the second week, there are hints on the ensembles that the overall upper air pattern may be a bit more conducive for cold air intrusions and a more active pattern. However, this is all low confidence. The storm from the 7th bleeds into this forecast period, and there is the potential for more storminess afterward that may stay to our south.
Thanks for reading SCW.