High pressure will keep the area warm and dry through the rest of the week into this weekend with Spring-like conditions. Cold air with the potential for snow returns early next week… Finally.
High pressure is now in control and will keep us very warm and very dry through the rest of the week into this weekend. Here is that high pressure reaching its peak on Friday over the Western United States:
However, things will start to change this weekend, by late Monday / early Tuesday of next week the ridge amplifies and shifts westward, pushing up into Alaska. This is going to allow cold air and perhaps snowfall to enter in the region via the “backdoor”. You can see this via the same map on Tuesday morning of next week (2/17):
Model agreement that this pattern will set up is high right now, so I feel confident that we will be cooling down early next week. All models bring in some degree of storm energy as well, but vary greatly on how strong. It makes a huge difference how far west the moisture will track with regard to how much snow we’ll get out of it. Right now it could be anywhere from just a light dusting to a fairly significant event. We’ll just have to watch and see over the coming days how things trend. But cold air! A chance for snow! This is a good change for us no matter how you slice it! Let’s hope Mother Nature lets these storms in the backdoor!
Looking toward later next week, things become even less clear. Some ensembles try to re-build the ridge off the coast and shut down storms again. Others re-build the ridge, but keep it far enough west that storms still drop down the backside. Another solution, notable in the 06z GFS as well as the 00z ECMWF control run, continue the idea of undercutting the ridge during the last weeks of February and bring a series of storms into the region. To sum it all up, there are still a range of different solutions. Some not great, some pretty good, and some really good. Personally, I’m liking what I’m seeing. At the very least we are seeing a pattern shift — FINALLY! It certainly has the potential to turn into a full scale pattern change. In the meantime, it looks like we have cold air and perhaps snow returning next week.