Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 21-25 Potentially Significant Winter Storm

It's looking as if a winter storm will impact the United States between January 21st and January 25th. As of now, this storm has potential to be a strong one.

Tropical Tidbits
The above image shows mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and precipitation values for the morning of January 15th over the West Pacific. In this graphic, we see a strong low pressure system moving up the eastern coast of Japan, delivering heavy precipitation to areas offshore of the island nation. A look at 500mb vorticity values (not shown) depicts this storm phasing with another piece of energy to strengthen and mature the energy into a substantial event.

If we recall that the Typhoon Rule states weather phenomenon occurring in East Asia is replicated here in the United States about 6-10 days later, we should expect a storm system, possibly strong, to hit the US in a January 21-25 timeframe. The orientation of this storm striking the east coast of Japan tells me it may come up from the South US and hug the East Coast here in the US.

Interestingly enough, model guidance is approving of this theory.

Tropical Tidbits
The new GFS (the old GFS model was retired with this morning's 12z / 6AM central time runs, and replaced by what was known as the GFS-Parallel model) is showing a storm system developing in the Southeastern US on January 23rd. Here, we see a large swath of heavy rain, likely containing thunderstorms draped across the Gulf Coast into the Mid-Atlantic, as well as a heavy snow swath spread across the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast. This is something like I would expect to see happen with the way our energy acts when it skirts around Japan in the earlier graphic we analyzed.

Tropical Tidbits
By the evening of January 23rd, we find our storm has moved offshore, dragging an impressive liquid precipitation shield behind it, which then drags behind it a very cold airmass to introduce the anticipated cold blast to close out January. A strong snow swath remains present, but the most intense snow appears to strike Long Island in New York, as well as other coastal spots. Lighter, but still impressive snows then impact more inland regions.

To summarize:

- A storm is expected to impact the United States between January 21 and January 25.
- This storm has the potential to be strong, per current guidance.



Anonymous said...

hardly a snow flurry in central ks the last 4 months, moisture verrry limited. winter has been that way for many years, perhaps 20 years or more....what gives? Used to ride snowmobile to school, sold snowmobiles years ago because rarely could use.

Anonymous said...

We are in a 48 day snow draught here in Louisville, KY. Would love to see that end real soon. This is the longest such draught dating back to 1932/33. Need some eastern storms to feed on.

BearCub said...

Let's hope the heavy snow shield covers Elmira/Binghamton, NY. It seems the area is too far east to get lake snows and to far west to get coastal snows.

Anonymous said...

Any chance for this storm to track further north? Still no accumulating snows in central MO all winter expect for a couple of minor dustings. Just seems we're in the wrong spot with storms strengthing further south & east.

Anonymous said...

What's the chances of the Mt's in NC getting a decent amount of snow out of this? Or is it mostly dusting.

Frank-o said...

Very Interesting......Indeed! Nice to at least see that the model run is showing snow and including North West North Carolina in this run.....But I will defer to a rain event here till I see some more model runs......

Elizabeth said...

Hoping to see some snow on the Cumberland Plateau-the last snow was in November- it looked to be a promising winter then! Thanks Andrew for the informative discussion-I have learned alot !