Unsettled weather on tap for next week

Friday, March 20, 2015

After a stellar start to the weekend today, beautiful sunny and warm weather will persist through Saturday. The ridge responsible for this weather will be flattened by Pacific energy to our north on Sunday, bringing some cooling and perhaps some high clouds. However, more Pacific energy attacking the ridge Sunday night and Monday conspires with some energy moving over Alaska and lobes of energy rotating around the ever-present Hudson Bay vortex to bring unsettled conditions from Monday through most of the rest of the workweek.

There may be some rain showers during the day Monday ahead of the leading shortwave which is forecast to cross our area Monday night, with snow initially only at the highest elevations. There is some cool air associated with this wave, and the northwest flow behind the front should lead to accumulating snow on the hill, perhaps in the 3-6” range by Tuesday morning.

Following this leading wave, further energy and cool air from the Pacific, Alaska and the Canadian plains will move over the area in several pieces, with snowfall enhanced early Wednesday and again Wednesday night into Thursday. As we will be between waves for most of Tuesday, I would expect only 1-4” of snow to be reported Wednesday morning. The last wave currently timed for Wednesday night will be the strongest and coldest, and though amounts are currently uncertain, we could do quite well from this with snowfall in the 4-8” range by Thursday morning.

A break in the weather look likely Friday into Saturday with dry weather and significant warming before the rapidly building transient ridge is flattened by incoming Pacific energy by mid-next weekend. There is model disagreement on the strength and southern extent of this Pacific energy, so the forecast for then is uncertain.

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