Raleigh Weather Discussion
Today will be a dreary day with occasional rain. Temperatures will warm up though likely reaching into the mid 60s in many areas. Clouds will likely linger through tomorrow but it looks like the rain may stay south of the Triangle. Rain though will likely return Wednesday, and as of now it looks to be all rain. There could be some snow in Virginia and north, but it looks to be all rain across North Carolina and the southeast US.
Skies will clear for Thursday and Friday with temperatures near normal. I am watching the next potential storm system this weekend. I still think this could evolve into a more wintry scenario then currently modeled. The models have been inconsistent with this event with some showing a major storm late last week, then most showing nothing or very light precipitation, and now the latest runs starting to bring a storm back (at least the 6z GFS and GFS Ensemble members and the Canadian model) but now hinting it may track through the Appalachians. A strong trough will be dropping down from Canada and the key will be if the trough holds together which would mean a storm likely in the Lakes with a strong cold frontal passage and little precip in the area (ala the 00z ECMWF model), or if the trough can split leaving some energy to dig into the southern plains and potentially form a storm system in the Deep South or Gulf. The scenario is unclear at the moment, but there is some potential so stay tuned. It wlooks colder over the weekend and into early next week.
The forecast is also somewhat uncertain by mid next week. There is potential for another storm system around Tuesday/Wednesday with the 6z GFS showing a colder scenario, while the ECMWF/GGEM are warmer.
National Extended Weather Discussion
A couple of trends emerge in the 11-15 day party. The EPO is forecast to go positive as a strong polar vortex takes hold over Alaska, and also the PNA is forecast to be negative as a trough develops in the western US. IT does appear that the NAO may remain negative but the pathway for arctic air may be shut off.
To me the pattern looks to favor cold in the interior West, Rockies, and Plains but a general warming trend for the Southeast as we head into later February. IT seems the main reason for the warming trend could be the MJO wave progression. The wave has currently stalled in phase 1, but the GFS Ensemble forecasts the wave to start progressing and move into phase 4/5 in the next 10-14 days which would favor a warmer pattern for the East. The CFS weeklies are colder for weeks 1-4 though, so we shall see.
So for snow lovers in the Southeast, we know that snow in March while certainly not impossible or unprecedented by any stretch has been rarer it seems in recent years. So if the warmer trends do indeed verify we may need to hope that something materializes in the next 10-12 days.