Ken Clark

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Western Storms Go Into Hibernation Through Next Week

January 11, 2013; 1:42 PM ET

An unusual weather pattern for January is in the offering for the next week to 10 days at least. What is usually one of the stormiest times of the year is going to end up being one of the most tranquil from Seattle in the north to San Diego in the south with virtually no chance of rain or snow.

An already strong ridge in the east-central Pacific (which has helped to bring the arctic air south in the past couple of days) gets even stronger into next week and moves slowly east. This ridge will develop a high latitude height anomaly off the Northwest coast. This high-level block can be very stable and can last for days. With the given upper-level wind patterns across the rest of North America it seems this will be an especially long-lasting block.

Below I give you what the GFS 500 mb pattern looks like from this Sunday, Jan. 13 through next Sunday, Jan. 20. These visuals will really tell the story. By the way, though I show only the GFS, the European is very much in step with the GFS. Or should I more correctly say the opposite, the GFS finally agrees with the European.

Sunday-January 13

Tuesday-January 15

Friday-January 18

Sunday-January 20

This massive ridge is going to block all storms from moving inland forcing them well to the north of even the Pacific Northwest. In this pattern, even Alaska is being affected as unusually warm air moves into many parts of that usually frigid state.

Storm enthusiasts in the West are just going to be bored to death in this kind of pattern. About the only negative that can develop is the potential that valley locations in eastern Washington, northern Oregon and maybe Idaho could develop a persistent low-cloud pattern. That is a little hard to forecast right now but it would not be surprising if that happened. Meanwhile, in a place like southwestern California, offshore flow will bring about a nice warming trend starting Tuesday with above-normal temperatures the rest of the week.

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

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Ken Clark
Ken Clark's Western U.S. weather blog tackles daily weather events with commentary from one of the most experienced and trusted Western U.S. weather experts.