Multiple Winter Storm Potentials and Arctic Surges

There is a lot that is about to take place over the next seven days and beyond, and there is no way that I can cover everything in this one article. Instead, I’m just going to give basic bullet points to give you a general idea as to what’s going on, and then I will detail each individual event in future articles and updates. Let me also make you aware that we have entering into another period that is going to be challenging to forecast. The amount of cold air in place, storms tracks, surface high pressure locations, and other variables are going to play a huge role in who gets what and how much.

Cold Air Surge On The Way:

  • The last week of January is going to flip back cold, particularly in the eastern third of the nation.
  • There could be a bit more volatility (back and forth temperatures) across portions of the central United States.
  • The western United States are going to really warm up as ridging will build over the area and into Alaska.
  • The overall pattern is going to become very active.
  • While some volatility in the pattern is likely, several surges of Arctic air could push south over the eastern United States continuing into February.

First Winter/Rain Storm Potential:

  • Two pieces of energy out West are going to combine into one over the southwestern United States.
  • Heavy moisture is going to develop and move in over New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. This will bring heavy snow particularly over parts of New Mexico and the panhandle of Texas. Regions including parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, and eventually further east over Texas will also be getting snow from this.
  • This system will push copious amounts of moisture over the Gulf coast states and eventually further up the coast late week into the weekend.
  • This will likely take the track that would typically bring a big winter storm across the Southeast and up through the Mid-Atlantic, BUT there may not be a high pressure system to the north that will be pumping cold air into the region.
  • Forecast models handle these kinds of systems horribly so there are still many questions. Parts of the Tennessee Valley, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast could get snow from this, and if they do, it could be heavy.
  • I’m still watching the Southeast VERY closely given the track that this storm will likely be taking. IF more cold air were to get pulled south into this storm, then there would be an entirely different scenario. Model guidance currently doesn’t show that, although some wrap-around moisture could change over to some wet snow.
  • I will have an article out tomorrow night on this particular storm with more details.

Second Winter Storm Potential:

  • Right after this first storm moves off the coast, ANOTHER storm will be moving across the United States early next week.
  • This will be after the cold air has plunged south across the eastern United States.
    This system will be diving south from the north and could trigger a coastal low to develop off the East Coast.
  • Depending on where this coastal low develops, this will be the determining factor as to who gets moisture and who doesn’t. Given the amount of cold air that will be in place, most of this moisture would be snow or wintry weather, except in the warm sector of this system.
  • These storms can be a big deal for places like the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys, parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast and even areas further to the south. Please note that I always questions these kinds of systems further south because the Appalachian mountains tend to block any moisture getting to the south. IF the coastal low were to develop further south however, this would increase snow chances further south.
  • I will have more details on this in a couple days. Details are still very uncertain, at best.

I talked about two storms here, and guidance indicates that other storm potentials could follow these two. Some of you will be really happy if you like snow, and some of you won’t. It’s important to realize that we are entering into the active and colder pattern that I have been talking about for several weeks now. Your chances of getting snow/ice during this period will be much higher than it has been so far this winter (this includes regions across the South). It’s important to realize that many regions across the Southeast don’t typically get snow/ice until late January and February anyway. I hope this gives you a decent overview as to what to expect, but realize that things could quickly change. I have much more studying to do on all of this, but I am simply sharing with you what I see so far.

  • Jenny

    Thanks for the update 🙂

  • Sheri

    Thank you, Matthew!! You’re awesome!! Also, hoping for snow in Columbia, SC!!

  • Amanda

    Thank you, Matthew! 🙂

  • Christina Ledbetter

    Glad you’re back… Thanks Matt for the update. I knew when I saw weather. Com forecast last night that this is what you had been preparing everyone for some weeks ago. I’m in North Georgia so looking forward to your future posts. Keep up the great work.

  • Danielle

    Thank you for the updates, but most of all I thank you for being honest; admitting mistakes and not making guarantees. Truth and honesty will always prevail.

  • Sheree

    Thank you for keeping us posted!

  • Darlene

    Thanks, keep up the good work. Really like your weather input!