Following an impressive early December Arctic Outbreak followed by January thaw, February looks promising for Midwest/Eastern and quite likely Western winter lovers given the forecasted SSWE (sudden stratospheric warming event) but if the CFSv2 is anything to go by and we know it’s flaws, rainfall looks to significantly taper off in California and the West.
January temp anomaly so far
Winter 16-17 so far
This follows a downright balmy fall across the Lower 48 despite a -AO/NAO. The weak, displaced polar vortex focused the cold over Eurasia but into December and the atmosphere flipped with strong warming over Europe while it cooled dramatically over the North American side of the pole.
We of course have seen a strong pullback since with a significant January thaw. This has been largely down to the strengthening of the Pacific jet and bombardment of storms slamming into the West with epic rain and snow essentially erasing the extreme drought across Northern California. This strong push of maritime air deflected the arctic air back north into Canada and Alaska and of course the past week has seen Alaska’s coldest weather in some 5 years while Pacific air crossed the Rockies and swept unusually mild 60-70 degree air all the way to the Eastern Seaboard.
The CFSv2 and other models show the return of high latitude blocking and the upper level reversal in heights beneath.
This big shift from what we have currently appears to be a direct result of the SSWE the models say has began.
Really like what I’m seeing here!!
CFSv2 weeklies respond but may not be responding enough if the above materialises.
FEATURED IMAGE: Credit: Carrie Hoffman