Out with a "Bang" or with a "Bust" ?
EXAMINING TRENDS LEADING TO HOW WINTER 2012-13 MAY END FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC
|Valentine's Week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will be forever remembered for the|
multi-day paralyzing ice storm that gripped the region in February 2007. Will 2013 be a do-over?
7:00 AM EST 2/10/2013 UPDATED (Forecaster Mike N. and the Long Range Team)
SYNOPSIS: Until the newly arrived New England blizzard clocked that region with 18 to 40 inches, for many in the Eastern U.S., the winter of 2012-13 had been rather benign in terms of cold and snowfall. Despite some recent arctic outbreaks and frequent “dusting to an inch” type clipper storms, Powderhounds were dismayed at the lack of any major storms. Many cities do have more snow than was observed in 2011-2012 and have averaged a bit colder, especially in January. How does this stack up with recent climate records for area which have under-performed in snow? (Inset: Photos from readers in Connecticut send in pictures of snow 24-36" deep. View more at our Northeast Winter Stormcast page).
COMPARING RECENT WINTERS: Over the last 10 years, two seasons started out similarly to the first half of winter thus far in 2012-13.
- 2006-07 started with record warmth but then a major pattern change during the end of January brought cold air in, and more arctic air, snow, and ice into February.
- 2011-12, which is shaping up to be a close relative of this year, was nearly snowless for some locations of the Mid-Atlantic. Dulles, Reagan National and Baltimore Washington Airports all recorded less than 3" of snow, compared to a normal annual snowfalls between 17 and 20 inches, depending on the airport.
|What "snowfall" has generally turned out to produce in portions of the Mid-Atlantic since 2011-12:|
Sometimes it is barely enough to cover the grass, and never mind sledding or snow forts!
WHAT WE THINK: Based on a variety of climate indicators (or long-range atmospheric clues) we routinely examine, we expect the following outcomes in the 10-20 day period ahead:
- A brief warming trend this weekend to near seasonal temperatures for the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest;
- A potentially high impact coastal snowstorm for New England. This event could serve as precursor, delivering a larger swath of cold air and setting the stage for a Mid-Atlantic snow event to follow during Valentine's Week.
- The period of February 14 – 25 has the potential to produce a few "lesser-impact" winter storms in areas which have not seen much snow this winter.
|NOAA HPC shows increasing probability of a 4" snowfall in the southern plains|
Souce: HPC Winter Weather Map Suite.
- Residual cold air systems in the Eastern U.S. from the systems described above will advect (or move out) around by February 25.
- Recent additional snow cover in the Northeast should permit more "locking in" of cold Canadian high pressure systems to aid in development of future storms.
- This departure of this cold regime should give way to a warmer pattern heading into March, hence the possibility next month will start more "lamb-ish."
(Forecasters Mike N., Jason I., Nic R., Editor/Advisor Rich F.)