11/28/16 – Winter Threat Assessment – Diving Into An Active December Pattern

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11/28/16 – Winter Threat Assessment – Diving Into An Active December Pattern

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Synopsis: Our forecast models continue to suggest a cool to colder pattern as we depart November and usher in December with a more consistent colder pattern setting in by the second week of December. To put it simply, the colder our “cold-air supply” is, the more likely that a system moves through the Plains/Midwest/Ohio Valley will be snow vs rain. This cold air will not be “Arctic” cold, but more seasonal which is still conducive enough to dump a bunch of snow. The challenge continues to be: will we have enough cold air to bring snowfall accumulation to the Midwest and areas east? Let’s dive in!


Next Targeted System (Dec 4th-6th): This time next week we are eyeing our next system to move through that has some “wintry” potential with it. Don’t forget, this is the same timeframe where we correlated the SOI drop 2 weeks ago to the first week of December for a big system to move through. Models are still wobbling in all directions as to the track of this system, so confidence is on the lower end, but confidence is increasing as to the cold-air supply that will be sufficient enough to produce snow as seen below.

European Solution 500mb tracks this system through the Plains into the Midwest this weekend into early next week.


European Solution 850mb temps shows enough cold air to produce snow.


Wintry Target Map:


Next Targeted System (December 6th-9th): I wanted to briefly touch on where we first “saw” the potential for a system in this timeframe, which is by using the Bering Sea Rule (BSR) organic forecasting methods (organicforecasting.com). This far out we won’t use the 8th as a literal date for this system exactly, but we will use it as a reference point to a timeframe we are eyeing winter storm potential.


Here’s the GFS 500mb solution with this system as it moves through the Plains/Midwest/Ohio Valley eastward.


GFS 850mb temperatures show a solid cold-air supply for this time period…obviously this is a ways out so things will change, but it’s worth targeting this timeframe for winter storminess.


Wintry Target Map: right now this is the area we are aiming at a for winter storm potential, which includes the Midwest and portions of the Ohio Valley states…we will want to definitely keep an eye on this timeframe for winter storm activity.


Conclusions: Our December pattern continues to look active, but that should not come as a surprise if you’ve been following this blog or are a BAM subscriber. The question going forward is will our cold-air supply be cold enough to support snowfall into the Midwest and Ohio Valley as we move into our first Winter month. If we take in consideration the trends of our forecast models and their ensembles of going cool to cold into the core of December, then things are looking favorable for a wintry pattern to enter into the Plains/Midwest/Ohio Valley.


Confidence and Risk:

  • We have increasing confidence in our pattern continuing to cool off as we end November and usher in December…with a cool to cold trend into the second week of December.
  • We have average to below average confidence in the system from December 4-6th bringing snowfall to the Midwest and Ohio Valley.
  • We have below average to low confidence in the system from December 6-9th as we are getting out to nearly 2 weeks from now where model solutions vary tremendously.
  • We do have however above average confidence that the pattern is coming conducive in the areas discussed for winter weather

Interested in getting the details any of these systems within 7 days, including timing, intensity, precipitation-type etc? Send us an email to “Info@BAMwx.com” expressing your interest and we will get you taken care of! 

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