Following a very damaging and impactful nor’easter last Friday, you may be wondering why another one is on the way the middle of this week and if there are additional coastal storms on the way. We’re going to discuss the upcoming pattern through the end of March, and whether spring is actually on the way.
What we are very certain about is that there will be another nor’easter that will hit portions of the Northeast Tuesday night through Thursday night. This storm will develop as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) transitions from a record low phase towards a more neutral phase by mid-March. With an NAO, huge undulations are created in the jet stream where a blocking high sets up over Greenland and typically forces cold and stormy weather, which will hit Europe and the Eastern US. That was the case with last week’s storm and is the same case with this week’s storm.
Another factor is incoming upstream over the Pacific Ocean. A huge ridge in the jet stream over the western Pacific will lead to a trough over the eastern Pacific, and then a ridge, with some undulations, again over the Western US. With that ridge over the West, another trough will travel over the East. Everything’s connected! This type of pattern is expected to continue through this weekend at the least, before a pattern change likely occurs.
Before this pattern change there is a threat for additional Nor’easters. We’re particularly honing in on the possible to likely coastal storm that is expected to develop this weekend, as another trough dives into the East. It’s far too early to focus on these details. This is because there is tremendous uncertainty on where the potential low pressure develops and tracks. If you look at the European model’s ensemble guidance below, you can see the huge spread in the possible low pressure center locations, ranging from the Carolina coast to southeastern New England and toward the central Atlantic. Based on this, nobody knows where this storm will track, but this storm will pose the risk for potential snow in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Stay tuned into WeatherOptics for details on this potential snowstorm.
Here’s a look at the general pattern we are forecasting through early next week:
Then through the extended period for the rest of March, there is the signal for the active weather to continue for the East Coast with several more coastal storms possible. By this time, however, average temperatures become warmer, so it becomes much more difficult for snow to occur. Meanwhile back toward the Central US, a big ridge of high pressure is expected to develop, allowing for warm and dry conditions during the end of March. This is not great news for the Southern Plains due to a very bad drought, and in some cases an exceptional drought. Back toward the West, it will be somewhat active with variable temperatures and occasional storms.