US February 2018 Outlook

It’s been a wild and impressive start to 2018 for cold in the East and South with coldest opening week on record for most sites, not one but 3 Deep South snowstorms within 5 weeks followed by the coldest night since the 1980s and 90s from Houston across to New Orleans and points in between.

However, the tide has changed and the final 10 days of the month are looking mild in the East while winter regroups Out West.

Remainder of January

Expect some slight cooling shots through the Great Lakes into the East but these are dwarfed by a mild overall theme while storm systems drive precip into the West which will help a ski resorts in the Rockies and Intermountain West. We’ll also have these Pacific lows swing into the central, maybe southern plains and then turn north up through the Great Lakes which will also help a poor snow season for the N Plains. We have a system bringing snow to Minneapolis over the next 24 hours.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

GFS ensemble upcoming 5 days.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

5 day mean 2m temp anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

GFS 10-day snow

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

US snowfall to date

How’s February looking? CFSv2 shows mild start, cold finish!

Not only are the day to day long range modelling showing the return of cold back into the Lower 48, there’s suggestion that the stratosphere may be about to warm and weaken or displace the polar vortex. As well as that, the MJO has been a useful tool this winter at seeing the recent cold and now warming and it too is hinting at entering phases 1,2,3 within the next 10-15 days.

If we see a stratospheric warming event take place either by the end of January or beginning of February, this coinciding with phases 1,2 or 3 of the MJO may support another major arctic outbreak during the 2nd half of February maybe even extending into March.

Here are the CFSv2 weeklies.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

An intriguing February for the East seen in the 500mb height anomaly for the month overall.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Not so much the 2m temp anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Barry Butler

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