42ºF

Weather Turning Colder, More Active Next Week

Before I get into some fun weather stuff (If you're a fan of winter) I'm going to go on a rant.

Winter can be an exciting time for many, especially meteorologists. In my opinion there is nothing more exciting than forecasting and then watching upper level dynamics come together to create a winter storm. Computer models have aided the accuracy of weather forecasts over the last decade, but with this computer power comes great responsibility. Uncle Ben even says so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b23wrRfy7SM

As our pattern turns colder and very active over the next few weeks use caution on where you get your weather information.

While there may be a chance for someone in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast to get a snowstorm sometime within the next ten days...it is irresponsible for a meteorologist or social media weather enthusiast to post computer forecasts that show snowfall amounts for a POTENTIAL storm that is more than a week away. There's no science in that...it just gets people wound up and it's wrong to get people that excited (or nervous) for a storm that may end up missing a certain area by hundreds of miles. Computer models are great, but you have to know why a certain model is saying what it's saying and a lot of times it's just the numbers posted on facebook or twitter. I saw a few posts on facebook this morning that got me fired up and hence the rant. Stick with WSLS 10 for all up to date weather information.

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WHAT WERE WATCHING GFX

Alright so let's talk some weather. While it's irresponsible to talk about a specific storm more than a week in advance it is ok to talk overall trends and patterns. As the title of this blog suggests, we could be in for a wild ride over the next couple of weeks depending on individual storm tracks. While I won't break down an individual storm this far out I will say that the pattern we are heading in to is conducive to producing Nor' easters. Here's the science.

As noted in a recent blog, with the way this particular El-Nino is set up..it was only a matter of time before the honeymoon with the warmth was over. Now appears to be that time. One of the main reasons for the colder changes is the placement of an upper level ridge.

PIC

This ridge in the jet stream is now "hanging out" over the western United States. This not only allows cold, Arctic air to flow down from Canada, but allows the northern branch of the Jet to interact with a more active southern branch of jet. Also known as the subtropical jet. This is where El-Nino comes into the play. So this blog doesn't get too "sciency" I'll yet again direct you to an earlier blog where we first talked about El-Nino and how it could impact the winter. There's more meat and potatoes in that one.

We had a good idea that this winter would be a wet one back in the summer, but if you read the blog we linked to in the last paragraph there was a question of if there would be enough cold to turn some of that wet into snow. With the pattern change noted above it looks like there will be. Whether or not an individual storm brings snow vs. rain depends of course on the track...which is why I cautioned getting excited over those snow maps you see posted more than a week in advance of an event. All of that aside...the coldest air of the season will be invading the country and this area by the middle portion of the upcoming week.

COLD

COLD FORECAST

I'm not sure if January could be any more different than the December we just went through. It's like Old Man Winter just flipped on a switch or maybe Mother Nature is just playing a sick joke on all of us. At the very least it is going to be cold over the next few weeks, but just know our pattern is also turning active and Storm Team 10 is watching things very closely.


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