Raleigh Weather Discussion
The blizzard for areas of the Northeast is unfolding as we speak, while the effects of the storm wind down here over North Carolina. Just over an inch of rain has fallen with the storm at the RDU airport. It will dry out the rest of the day and the weekend looks dry with temperatures a little below normal with highs in the low to mid 50s and lows in the upper 20s.
An unsettled weather pattern will develop by Sunday night through Wednesday with rain likely and mild weather by Monday with a 2nd wave along the front possible Tuesday night and Wednesday. Temperatures will likely reach the 60s on Monday and Tuesday.
Cooler weather moves in by mid-week with temperatures a little below normal and another round of rain possible sometime next weekend. There is some uncertainty though as the models are all over the place with the storm potential for President’s Day weekend. Some ensemble members indicate winter storm potential, others are warmer for now I will just go for a chance of rain on Saturday and colder weather behind the storm.
National Extended Weather Discussion
There is generally good agreement that this will be a cold period for interior West and central US. The East especially southeast though may be more variable with temperatures near or averaging slightly below normal. The models are showing the SE ridge potentially amplifying a bet in this period, particularly the ECMWF/GGEM Ensemble. The 6z GFS ENS shows it as well, but not as strong as the other guidance and it also weakens it as the period progresses.
The NAO/AO look to be negative, with the EPO negative but then rising to positive levels as troughing returns to Alaska. The PNA is forecast to be negative, so all that would imply a cold trough into the west-central US, with the potential for ridging in the East. However, the –NAO should keep this ridge under control. Although, as we learned in December, a –NAO/-AO combination can still be a warm one for the east if the Pacific doesn’t cooperate.
The new ECMWF weeklies came in last night and are now cold from mid-February through early March, with the pattern relaxing some by week 4. The latest CFS weeklies concentrate the cold in the west and central with the East above normal. The MJO pulse has stalled in phase 1 over the last few days, with the GFS model guidance showing a progression but then stall in phase 2. If the phase can hold in the phase 1 or 2 area, it could continue to support a colder east look. The ECMWF weeklies show the wave losing strength and probably influence, and hence the colder look although some members do show progression into warmer phases 4 and 5 which is confusing since the outlooks is overall cooler.
My thinking is that we will see a general cold pattern for much of the US from mid February through early March. However, I do think the East could be variable, especially south of the Mason-Dixon line with potential for the SE ridge to be an issue at times. This could make for a storm track through the TN/OH Valley and a snowy pattern for the OV, Lakes, and Northeast, and not so much for the mid-Atlantic/Southeast. But we shall see!