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    Elliot Abrams

    Pre-Christmas Snow Prospects

    By Elliot Abrams, AccuWeather chief meteorologist
    12/11/2012, 5:40:57 AM

    Tuesday 9 a.m.

    During the last few weeks, I have mentioned the upper stratosphere as a location where we might find signals pointing to future cold or warm weather patterns. There has been some scientific research on this and I admit to not understanding it all.

    If you do a Google search by typing stratospheric harbingers, you will see a list of papers representing some of that research. Around Nov. 25, there was a strong vortex over the North Pole at the 10mb level. This configuration may be associated with relatively mild weather patterns 10-20 days later. From what I have seen, the relationships are statistical, and they don't always work. It has been exceptionally mild in parts of the Northeast so far this month (nearly 10 degrees above average in Buffalo).

    Last week, the vortex was displaced and was centered over Greenland. A large high pressure area had weakened the part of the vortex that covered parts of Siberia and Alaska. IF...IF that was a signal for cold, we might expect that next week and maybe up to around Christmas.

    Now, however, the vortex has re-strengthened and has moved back toward the Pole. This could be a signal for milder weather as we head toward the new year. The video shows the GFS forecasts for the next week or two. It includes two snow possibilities for parts of the I95 corridor.

    Below the video, there are maps of the 10mb pattern around the pole last week and last night. You should be able to see how the vortex has moved back into place.


    Polar Pressure Map at 10 mb on Dec. 5. Polar Pressure Map at 10mb on the night of Dec. 10.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

    Elliot Abrams