Sunday, February 2, 2014

Prospects for the Future Looking Brighter!

Hopefully you have stocked up those sick days during the endless run of inversions and bad air as all signs indicate that we are finally seeing a break down of the pattern that has haunted us for must of the winter.

First, let's talk about what has happened over the past month.  During January and even a good chunk of December, the large-scale upper-level pattern featured a persistent high-amplitude ridge over western North America and the eastern north Pacific, with a persistent trough over the eastern United States. This can be seen in the departure from average (a.k.a. anomaly) of 500-mb heights for the past 30 days below.
Source: ESRL
This has led to very dry conditions over much of the west and a series of cold surges into the eastern United States.

This pattern appears to finally be shifting, with more progressive westerly flow pattern returning to the western United States.  I don't have an equivalent graphic to the one above for the forecast period ahead, but below shows the departure of forecast 500-mb heights from the GFS for 0Z Feb 7th.  Note that anomalously high heights (ridging) is shifted to over the Bering and Chukchi seas between Russia and Alaska, with anomalously low heights (toughing) over the western U.S.

Source: ESRL
As a result, it looks like we will see a more active pattern the next week or two with more frequent storms and a lack of persistent inversions.  How much we get will depend on the gory details, but it is likely we will see at least near average precipitation over the next 6-10 days - which is a HUGE improvement over December and January.

1 comment:

  1. Did I just see a certain weenie's face on a (local) Super Bowl commercial?!