We are starting to see a change in the pattern and, by next week, that change should be in full swing with what could be some volatile consequences. The NAO will end up going negative by mid-month and the PNA is going positive as well which may come back to haunt us around mid-month of so. Before that, the trend of the models has been to bring a storm up through the Plains into the Great Lakes. If that were correct as shown on the GFS below, the outcome would be severe weather on the east side of the storm and heavy snow on the west side.
We have seen a couple of these severe weather outbreaks in the lower Mississippi Valley and South prior to the holidays, which I really hate to see happen. Last year, it was Alabama and Georgia that had tornadoes on the 22nd. In 2010 and 2009, we had the big outbreak across the South prior to the holidays, so these types of events do happen and have happened during the past three years.
Right now, I am not sure how the pattern is going to evolve next week, but on the table are snow and severe weather.
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A blizzard will hit the West and northern Plains. After that, a shot of cold weather will bring lake snow this weekend.