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Showers remain from the coastal storm
on Tuesday, but abrupt changes coming
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Long Range Outlooks

1/21-1/27TemperatureAbove normalVery high
1/28-2/3TemperatureNear to slightly below normalHigh
2/4-2/7TemperatureNear to slightly above normalModerately high
2/8-2/15TemperatureBelow normalModerate
1/22-1/23PrecipitationA strong and complex area of low pressure will send two waves of precipitation through the region, the first of which arrives Sunday with rain, and the trailing main low pressure will be more intense with heavy rain, wind, and coastal flooding on Monday, with some far interior snow for elevated areas possible.High
January as a wholeTemperatureAbove normal (+3°F to +5°F)Very high
January as a wholePrecipitationAbove normalHigh
January as a wholeSnowfallBelow normal aside from DE/SNJ areas that got snow earlier this monthVery high
February as a wholeTemperatureSlightly below normalModerately high
February as a wholePrecipitationAbove normalModerately high
February as a wholeSnowfallAbove normalModerately high

Outlook table last updated: Friday January 20th, 4:00pm. Next update: Friday January 27th.

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
January 21st40°F/25°FAbove normal
January 28th41°F/26°FNear to slightly below normal
February 4th42°F/26°FNear to slightly above normal

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. Wintry possibilities will be discussed exclusively in the Premium Forum with intense model analysis leading up to any Wintry 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:


One main system to speak about this week, and it will be very complex in evolution. A two-wave event will affect the area in the Sunday through early Tuesday time frame. The first will be relatively simple, bringing rain and rain showers Sunday and Sunday night to much of the area. The 2nd and main low, originating from the northern Gulf states will move northeastward through the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, and eventually toward our area, and sliding east toward the coast from there. What makes the 2nd low interesting, is a high pressure center well to the northeast, albeit retreating, over southern Quebec. It will likely not be in an ideal position nor strength for cold air to become entrained into this system for most areas, but a strong area of low pressure nonetheless will provide for heavy rain on the order of 1-2″ and high winds. The winds will be 20-30mph sustained, with gusts over 45mph possible Monday morning, thanks to a strong pressure gradient created by the high to the north and strong low pressure sub-990mb. The system wraps up Monday night and perhaps very early Tuesday. We will be watching for some far interior locations of elevation over 1000 feet for some sleet/snow at the height of the storm, favoring the mountains in north central PA and northern portions of NE PA nearest the NY/PA border. Any snow accumulations will be addressed in text alerts to those subscribed prior, and likely everywhere else for rain/wind impacts on a hyperlocal level, and those alerts can be expected later Saturday. Public impacts maps will appear Saturday evening. For most, this is a rain and wind event, with coastal flooding and erosion a viable threat.

The only other precipitation event(s) will be minor with several fast-moving clipper systems possible toward the end of the month into early February.

All public/freely available maps will be updated when the threat is imminent for severe weather and snow threats on the weather alerts page throughout the Winter: http://epawaweather.com/weather-alerts/


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

Showers will move in Sunday and Sunday night with the initial wave of precipition


Heavy rain and wind, along with some far interior elevation snows possible Monday


Pattern Discussion:


The period starts off warm, as tropical forcing retreats to the Maritime Continent. Warm Pacific air will continue to flood the eastern US through about the 27th. The resultant -PNA pattern will enable cold to be limited in the shorter and midrange to the western US, while ridging continues in the east. 

Beyond that point, the arrival of cold air arrives around the 27th/28th with the return of a +PNA and -EPO, thanks in part to a few things… better tropical forcing expected away from the Maritime Continent, a slow down of the Pacific jet, and a recent drop in the SOI index. All contributing to a colder regime. The question then becomes how long is this sustained…

We do think that post Feb 3rd the temperatures will moderature a bit, but nothing really noteworthy with the tropospheric PV remaining near or just north of Hudson Bay. This will allow for what we feel will be a brief period of “near to slightly above” for a few days through about the 7th. After this point, we think tropical forcing in the Pacific plays a role in another below average week through the 15th. If some ensemble guidance is correct in the eventual propagation to phase 8, a cold and stormy pattern will return to the eastern US. If it is delayed or not realized, more of a zonal and progressive look may continue. 

The outlook was purposely stopped at the 15th of February, as it can go one of two ways… early Spring, or locked in and sustained cold. No one can do more than speculate on this period at present time, as there are equal arguments and support to both sides. The Stratosphere may play a role with a Wave 1 SSWE (Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event) that could displace the stratospheric polar vortex (PV) to lower latitudes away from the polar regions. If it can downwell, and to this side of the globe, it could lead to a cold and snowy period in the eastern US. But at this point, that is a big “IF” and much to be decided with other factors. Climate models and leading analogs are split on whether they allow this period to be warmer or colder one, so we will revisit in future outlooks.

Bottom line: Warm this week from the 21st-27th. On the 28th the cold arrives, lasts through the 3rd, but relatively dry with minor snow events possible… fast moving/progressive clipper-type systems. It will not be overly warm in the 4th-7th time frame to allow for winter storms to still occur, but placement of key synoptic features will play a critical role in wintry forecasts. Feb 8-15 can be an active cold and stormy period IF tropical forcing/MJO cooperates with a propagation into phase 8. Beyond the 15th… to be determined. 

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

GEFS show after a brief stint in phases 1+2 that tropical forcing heads through the circle of death toward the Maritime Continent initially, but heads back toward more favorable forcing stages by early February, away from the Maritime Continent.


The Euro weeklies are not as thrilled with the quick propagation eastward to more favorable phases as early as the GEFS, but it still gets there eventually. Given recent SOI drops, we are favoring a faster propagation than the EPS indicates.


EPAWA 1-5 day temperature departure outlook


EPAWA 6-10 day temperature departure outlook


EPAWA 11-15 day temperature departure outlook


EPAWA 16-20 day temperature departure outlook


Current U.S. Snow Cover

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Forecaster: EPAWA Meteorologist Bobby Martrich
Discussion last updated:  Friday January 20th, 4:00pm