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Soggy forecast straight through the
weekend, with plenty of showers
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Long Range Outlook

Important information:

  • Weather Weeklies video, found at http://epawaweather.com/weather-weeklies/ will continue every Sunday throughout the Winter season.
  • Ongoing discussions and comprehensive model analysis ahead of any storm threat is conducted exclusively in the EPAWA Premium Forum, and not publicly until a threat is imminent. To become part of the advanced discussion, and to get long range updates on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to this Friday public update, visit http://epawaweather.com/my-pocket-meteorologist/ and select “Premium Weather Forum”.
  • The EPAWA app is available and is completely FREE and does not require a download from the app store. This is a progressive web app that replaced the old app in December. From a mobile device, simply open your browser and go to https://m.epawaweather.com/ and be sure to accept notifications and allow the app to detect your location for full functionality of the app. You then have the ability to save the PWA to your home screen, and it will work similar to a native app.
Screenshot (1)
DatesThreatsSignificanceConfidence
2/24-3/1TemperatureAbove averageVery high
3/2-3/3TemperatureNear to slightly below averageHigh
3/4-3/5TemperatureNear averageModerately high
3/6-3/14TemperatureSlightly below averageModerately high
3/15-3/18TemperatureNear to slightly below averageModerate
3/19-3/25TemperatureSlightly above averageModerately low
2/24-2/25RainAnother system will bring a warm front through the region on Saturday with showers, and then the trailing cold front moves through associated with the same system on Saturday night and Sunday morning with more rain expected along and ahead of the cold front.Very high
3/1-3/2Rain/SnowModel disagreement exists with how this time frame plays out, but several models are suggestive of a system initially cutting to the west and then running into a strong block in the North Atlantic that forces redevelopment of a secondary low offshore. This could lead to rain changing to snow and potentially substantial with a slow-moving offshore system and strong high pressure positioned over New England. Many fine details to work out yet.Moderate
3/5-3/14Winter storm signalsThe pattern post-March 5th takes on a mid-March 1958-like northern hemispheric 500mb geopotential height pattern that will be conducive for late season snow event(s) in this time frame, with the -NAO blocking pattern setting up over the Davis Straight vicinity.Moderate
February as a wholeTemperatureAbove average (+2.0°F to 4.0°F)High
February as a wholePrecipitationAbove average (1.5" to +2.0")High
February as a wholeSnowfallNear average most locationsHigh
March as a wholeTemperatureSlightly below average (-1.0°F to -2.0°F)Moderate
March as a wholePrecipitationNear to slightly above average (+0.0" to +1.0")Moderately high
March as a wholeSnowfallAbove averageModerately high

Outlook table last updated: Friday February 23rd, 12:15pm.  Next scheduled update: Friday March 2nd.

This is a weekly updated public long range guidance product from EPAWA. For daily long range updates and more detailed updates M-F, please join the EPAWA forum. More information/sign-up at: http://epawaweather.com/my-pocket-meteorologist/ 

*Indications of above or below average temperatures in the table above are relative to what is considered “normal” using data collected over the long term for a particular date. This is collected and maintained by the National Climatic Data Center in conjunction with the National Weather Service actual data from previous years collected at official ASOS/climatology stations across our coverage area. Also note that as time moves forward into a different period as shown above, average temperatures for those dates will also change. See the example below using Philadelphia, PA as the climo station:

DateAverage Hi/LoEPAWA projection
February 24th46°F/29°FAbove average
March 3rd48°F/31°FNear to slightly below average
March 10th51°F/33°FSlightly below average
March 17th53°F/35°FNear to slightly below average

The departure from normal uses the average temperature for the date, averaging temps over 24 hours for any given location, using both high and low temperatures hourly during any particular day. This outlook determines warm vs. cool periods relative to normal temperatures.

Long range analysis: Technical discussion is below for advanced readers:

Technical discussion below will feature two (2) subcategories: Precipitation, and Pattern Discussion. Storm possibilities will be discussed exclusively in the Premium Forum with intense model analysis leading up to any major rain or severe events, not publicly. To join this discussion and hear our updated thoughts from our team, visit The My Pocket Meteorologist Page by clicking HERE and select the “Premium Weather Forum” option.

Precipitation Discussion:

Precipitation:

The active precipitation pattern will likely continue, with the current wet pattern expected to continue over the weekend. As the SE ridge strength and positioning changes next week, we will dry out for several days, before another system arrives to begin the month of March, and that could have wintry implications with it.

The first system will move from the Plains to the western Great Lakes, and will at first push yet another warm front through the region on the outer periphery of the SE ridge and high pressure anchored off of the SE US coastline. This will bring periods of showers to the region on Saturday, but it will be milder than the few days prior with the warm air advection moving in with the warm front. The system’s trialing cold front will move through on Sunday afternoon, and will bring more rain ahead of it Saturday night and at least Sunday morning, before tapering off as the front clears on Sunday afternoon.

The 2nd system is more complex, and will again attempt to cut into the Great Lakes… however an expected strong blocking pattern setting up in the North Atlantic could force this system to redevelop a secondary low offshore. At the same time, the blocking pattern will be responsible for positioning a cold high pressure over SE Canada or northern New England, which could filter enough cold air into the developing offshore low to change rain to snow, and perhaps a substantial snow for some areas. It is way too early to break down areas and possible precipitation types with a lot of moving parts and unknown strength/positioning of these features that will alter the downstream effects. We will monitor it closely, and discuss in the premium forum this weekend should a threat become more plausible.

The pattern takes on a mid-March 1958 northern hemispheric 500mb geopotential height look from the 6th of March onward, which would be a favorable pattern to see late-season snowfall(s) occur. Too early for specifics other than storm signals, and we will monitor more closely with shorter term forecasts and future long range updates.

Breakdown of precipitation departures from normal over the next several weeks:

February 24th-March 2nd: Above average, wintry/snow event possible toward the end of the period

March 3rd-March 9th: Near to slightly below average, wintry/snow events may be possible

March 10th-March 16th: Near average, wintry/snow events may be possible

March 17th-March 25th: Near average, wintry/snow events may be possible, but not likely at this time

Public/free available maps will be updated when a threat is imminent for significant weather or snowfall on the weather alerts page throughout the Winter:  http://epawaweather.com/weather-alerts/

 

Note:  Any image in the outlook is clickable for larger viewing

The GFS shows the cold front moving through on Sunday with rain expected along and ahead of it in the picture below, and a warm front crosses the region Saturday prior to this accompanied by periods of showers. Most of the activity diminishes Sunday PM as the front clears.

gfs3

Using today’s 12z CMC to illustrate, a primary low pressure cutting into the Great Lakes runs into the block next Friday, and is forced to redevelop offshore; this like the Euro has a rain to snow situation for the interior, but the latest GFS is not on board with this idea.

cmc3

Pattern Discussion:

Pattern:

The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO): After spending weeks in the phase 7 octant in the Western Pacific, the MJO has finally progressed into phase 8 near the international dateline, and is expected to continue into the colder and stormier phases of octants 1 and 2 through the middle of the month. At the same time, an east-based Northern Atlantic blocking pattern will take shape near the end of February and early March. While not typically conducive for east-coast snowstorms this late in the season with the block in that position, the block is strong enough that it could still produce a rain to snow situation, and perhaps significant snow for some interior locations to begin the month of March.

Once we reach the March 5th/6th time period, the global northern hemisphere 500mb geopotential heights forecast from multiple ensemble guidance resembles a pattern very similar to the middle of March 1958, with the -NAO becoming west-based and setting up over the Davis Straight. If this occurs as projected, which is shown on multiple ensemble guidance, it could be a pattern conducive to a late-season snowfall or two during the colder than average period expected from between the 6th and 14th of the month, perhaps maintaining a few days beyond that point. The cold period will be in response to the blocking pattern taking shape that will be west-based, blocking up the pattern, and forcing the configuration of ridges and troughs over the US to retrograde westward with time. This would likely set up a prolonged period of at least slightly below average temperatures. How long this maintains will be predicated on how long the -NAO remains intact or if it redevelops sometime toward the end of the 2nd week of March.

February projections are for (overall) a milder than average look for much of the remainder of the month. We maintained the above average (+4.0°F to +6.0°F) forecast for the month as a whole. Once we reach March, the combination of the -NAO and colder MJO octants will produce at least slightly below average temperatures for the first half of the month at least, but that could last longer if the -NAO maintains or redevelops at some point late in the 2nd week of March. There will be a moderation period as we head toward the Spring equinox, but exact date of that occurrence could be delayed if the -NAO remains intact. Overall we have the month of March slightly below average (-1.0°F to -2.0°F) until the entire evolution becomes more clear with time.

Note:  Any image in the outlook is clickable for larger viewing

The GEFS shows the -NAO setting up (east-based) over Greenland. Initially this is not ideal for an east coast storm threat, but the block is strong enough that it could force redevelopment to a secondary/offshore low in early March that could have a wintry side to it.

gefs2

As we move forward to March 6th, the pattern resembles a mid-March 1958 look with the -NAO becoming west-based over the Davis Straight. This pattern is more conducive for east coast snow events, so we will have to monitor the 6th-14th period very closely for wintry threats.

gefs3

Next 3 weeks of US temperature departures

Images below are clickable for better viewing

1-5 day temp departures – confidence: VERY HIGH

1-5

6-10 day temp departures – confidence: HIGH

6-10

11-15 day temp departures – confidence: MOD. HIGH

11-15

16-20 day temp departures – confidence: MODERATE

16-20

Current U.S. Snow Cover

Below is a look at the latest snow cover propagation across Canada and the Contiguous United States.

This image will automatically update daily.

My Pocket Meteorologist

The My Pocket Meteorologist text alert program is a year-round program, and seasonal options for Spring/Summer will be available soon. Click on the image below for more information.

mpm3

Forecaster: EPAWA Meteorologist Bobby Martrich
Discussion last updated:  Friday February 23rd, 12:15pm