A detailed analysis close to 3,800 words has been released to Premium subscribers detailing the extreme cold tonight, a Clipper bringing snow Friday, a chance of snow early next week, a potential snow storm late next week, longer-range temperature shifts, and the impacts of all of this in the national natural gas market. For non-subscribers, this forecast is available for purchase here. Please note, this is published Wednesday, and a new Thursday update will be available 10 PM on Thursday. And with the most activity and snow chances of the winter, this represents a perfect opportunity to sign up for SWCT/NY Premium, where you get school delay/closure predictions with daily detailed forecast analyses of all major weather stories and potential impacts on your life emailed directly to you. Subscribe here!
Still, we want to break down some of the aspects of the forecast freely, too, to get the word out about some of these storms. Attached below is the free forecast attached with pieces of the recently released Premium forecast and weather model analysis:
EXTREME COLD: The Wind Chill Advisory remains in effect through 8 AM tomorrow with wind chills down to -15 degrees and low temperatures approaching 0 at the coast and below 0 inland expected tonight. This is some of the most extreme cold I can remember reporting on for the region, and as such some schools are opting to delay opening tomorrow. Please be sure to check with your school tomorrow morning to see if they have delayed due to the cold.
FRIDAY CLIPPER: This storm continues to really bounce around on our models, with every scenario from nothing at all to a moderate burst of snow dropping 2 inches during the morning rush hour being possible. Again, with these small-scale features, accuracy is often much lower as they can change so much at the last minute. This agreement among the higher resolution models getting into range, however, makes me believe there will at least be some burst of snow Friday morning, and it could be disrupting, as it will be heavier/steadier than the snow from the last Clipper. Now, it is just one burst of snow, so it will not stick around for too long, but I would certainly advise avoiding travel between say 7:30 AM and 11 AM on Friday morning. If you have work, try leaving early to either avoid the snow or leave extra time to get to your destination. School impacts are possible and detailed for subscribers.
WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: Four days ago I first outlined this region to all Premium subscribers as a threat for a larger storm because a large trough was going to dive down into the eastern US and it looked to be negatively tilted. Last night, I said that it was looking more likely a large winter storm could impact the region in this timeframe. And today, all the models began to show one. The 18z GFS has a low pressure center form just south of the region and rapidly strengthen as it is infused with baroclinic energy from the 500mb trough tilting negative, as seen here. The model verbatim gives us around 6-8 inches of snow. The CMC is more interesting, having a Clipper amplify at the base of one trough Wednesday night, pulling up warmer air that could turn us over to rain briefly, as seen here. Then, the model has the secondary low at the coast take over and dump heavy snow into Thursday. The ECMWF has a pretty standard storm signature, with a broad 500mb trough seen on the top left here and the low pressure center seen off the Carolinas on the top right. This is also after some rain on Wednesday as the ridge briefly pumps into the region, and it is the second low pressure center that pulls in the colder air and turns the rain over to snow. Models will continue to show numerous different scenarios with this storm, and the key takeaway from all of this is that they all agree that there just is this storm threat, and that it is worth watching. With so much uncertainty still, it is definitely worth staying tuned, especially as there is a potential for our first very significant snow storm down to coast of the year, and Premium subscribers will receive constant coverage of each weather model and updated forecast as it comes out. Freely available updates on this storm will similarly be available periodically over the coming days, as will the official forecast when it is published.
LONG-RANGE: Overall, confidence remains very high in the consensus forecast for the coming 12-14 days. The extreme cold dominates the next few days with easing into Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures could even briefly get above average here and will get above average in the south and the southeast. By Tuesday, the next cold shot will be moving through the Midwest, but will be very weak. Cold begins to dive down into the region on Thursday, and it is Friday and Saturday that I expect to be the coldest behind the storm, as a direct upper level connection with a branch of the polar vortex is formed. By Sunday, all models have the southeast ridge winning out, which will be moving in warmer air to begin the weak. The 12z GEFS were actually extremely mild for the region under this ridge, as seen here. That’s a consensus forecast of temperatures 12-16 degrees above average for January 20th, 13 days out. That is extremely strong agreement among these ensemble models, part of the reason I posted the freely available update on natural gas/long-range temperatures I did yesterday; confidence was very high in this January thaw occurring. Through January 22nd, models continue to show above average temperatures for the entire eastern half of the US. Extrapolating from there is where things get interesting though as models diverge. That long-range analysis will become available in the coming days.
That’s just a taste of what a Premium subscription entails, and what some of the stories are that we are covering over the coming days and weeks. Additional free forecasts will be posted as necessary, and a very brief update can be expected tomorrow evening on the Friday Clipper that looks to swing through in the morning, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest!