For those waiting for some warmth to arrive over a good part of the northern US, the wait will continue at least through next week. A Greenland upper level blocking pattern continues to hold strong. The graphic from the Chicago Tribune shows this blocking pattern as a vast bubble of warm air aloft over northeast Canada. This bubble of warm air diverts the jet stream farther south over the US.
When one examines the graphic, it becomes readily apparent just how much different the weather is this year compared to last year. On March 20, 2012 most of the Midwest was still in the midst of the record sting of 80+ degrees warmth. Not so this year, a mere 50-65 degrees colder. For Chicago it was 65 degrees colder than a year ago. Brrrr!
All weather eyes are now on a strong disturbance that is digging southeast from the Gulf of Alaska. By Saturday evening deepening low pressure is forecast over northern Texas. From there the models differ greatly with the ECMWF having the low over southern Ohio by Monday morning while the GFS has already moved the low to off the Jersey coast.
As of now the general idea is to split in the forecast speed between the two models, but to have a rather strong storm system. This would put the Chicago metro area on the northern edge of the snow while the deep south is already outlined for possible severe storms. Needless to say this system continues to bear watching. Winter weather is not yet over.
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