Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Scorecard...More Snow This Weekend

Its been 3 years (2010-11) since we had a winter this cold (avg temperature since 11/15) with many more weeks to go.  The last winter with more nights below 10 degrees was in 2001.
Our ~38 inches of snow through January 23rd is the highest total since 2009.
Lake Erie ice cover is now at 94% and climbing, the highest level at January 22nd since 1996.

Although we haven't had a huge snowfall, the persistent pattern which features a monster trough across the eastern 1/2 of the continent allows cold air originating from Siberia (which deepens over the heavy snow cover in northern Canada) to drain south on a frequent basis in pockets along with fast moving "Alberta Clipper type" snows to fall across the Great Lakes and northern Ohio. 

The diverging wind field aloft and smaller scale cyclonic winds in the mid levels (rotating energy) within the jet stream are amplifying these clippers as they sag through the middle of the US at the base of this large scale eastern trough.

Instead of straight forward light snowfalls associated with these Clippers, heavier and more widespread snowfalls are increasingly likely especially Saturday. The forecast for Saturday calls for a good 2-4 inches.

Map courtesy: Weatherbell