Arctic Cold In The Rear View Mirror, For Now

You don’t need me to tell you that the recent weather pattern has been wild.  At times it has been mild (Hello January 12) but we have had far too many visits from the Arctic hounds.  These visits have resulted in above average snow, record cold, frozen pipes, dead car batteries, a terrible flu season, and a general weariness from winter strong New Englanders.  Thank the heavens for the Patriots giving us something to cheer about.  Something else to cheer about is the weather pattern through the end of January.  There will be no shots of extreme cold over the next 1-2 weeks.  Snow chances are also low with no significant storms on the horizon.  Temperatures will be normal to above normal.

Where We Have Been

Yesterday’s snow totals are in the books.  The highest totals were out west in Berkshire County.  It was a weak event with most towns receiving 3-5″ of snow.

NWS Snow Totals 1/17/18

Not everyone reported snow but there was a clear lull in Central Connecticut which made my snow forecast bust there.  All in all, I am happy with my forecast.  I could and should have expanded the 3-5 to include most of Hampden and Hampshire County as well as Northern CT.  This storm behaved like a spring storm in the sense that it was weak and temperatures were near freezing.  Snow needed to fall with intensity in order to accumulate during the daylight hours and that really didn’t happen after 9-10 AM.

Snow Forecast Created by Zack Green Monday 10 AM

Worcester came in at 3.8″, Boston 1.7″, Providence 1.1″, and Hartford 3″.  January is going to go into the books with above average snowfall.  Boston averages 12.8″, Worcester 16.1″, Providence 9.9″, and Hartford 12.1″ for the month.

We won’t add much to these totals through the end of the month, but it is January and little systems can sneak through and add a few inches here and there.  As always, stay tuned to the blog and we’ll let you know what is coming.   Enjoy the break, February is on average the snowiest month in Southern New England.

Where We Are Going

For the better part of the last 2-3 months, the jet stream has dipped across the Eastern half of the US while building over Western North America.  This has allowed for cold, Arctic air to spill into New England with nothing to stop it.  That pattern has begun to break down.  Now the dip is over the west coast while building over the Eastern US.  That means the source of our air mass is no longer Western Canada or the Arctic, but instead the Pacific Ocean.

12z ECMWF 500 mb height anomaly Saturday 1 AM (image WeatherModels.com)

Relatively warm sea surface temperatures off the East Coast will help to sustain the ridge and should allow for temperatures to consistently rise into the 40’s and perhaps 50’s over the next week or two.  It is New England so some days will be stuck in the 30’s as northern cold fronts sag south.  But in general, we have a warm signal.

NOAA OSPO Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies 1/18/18

A nice looking La Nina event is peaking across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.   If this signal persists into Hurricane season there will be big implications in the Atlantic Ocean.  La Nina events usually help increase severe weather across the South which is concerning given the amount of cold air that has made it ways to the Gulf Coast this winter.  Nothing fuels a tornado outbreak like cold continental air clashing with warm moist Gulf of Mexico air.    But, enough with the negativity.


-Zack Green

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