Likely light snow this weekend followed by big storm potential as storm track shifts

Monday, November 25, 2013

As the departing storm soaks the Gulf Coast and the the east coast during Thanksgiving week, a ridge over the west coast produces generally warm temperatures and dry weather until the weekend. A wave to our northeast grazes the area on Tuesday bringing some slight cooling and clouds before temperatures warm and skies around mid-week.

A strong storm in the Pacific crashes into the west coast ridge around Thanksgiving Day allowing some precipitation to reach southern California by Friday. Coincidentally, a strong wave breaks off from the polar vortex and moves south across Alaska, intensifying in the Gulf of Alaska by Saturday. A piece of energy from this storm is currently forecast to move over our area sometime this weekend producing snow as the mountain-top flow turns to the northwest and moistens.

There is a lot of uncertainty with regards to how much interaction between this wave in northwest flow and the storm moving eastward from southern California. Previous forecasts had a dry forecast for the weekend, but current forecasts are more optimistic.

But more certain is that a storm cycle for the northwest and Rocky Mountains begins as the Gulf of Alaska low begins to move south and east. Likely heavy snow starts this weekend along the northwest coast and move inland before reaching our area around Tuesday. Current forecasts have this as a major and long-lasting pattern change that may provide significant snows and cold winter temperatures through at least early December.

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