Similarly to the natural process of pregnancy in humans, an animal, or other living creatures, storm systems have a distinct set of factors and processes to go through before a tropical storm or hurricane can be born.
First and foremost, the environment has to be conducive for such storms to develop. Warm sea surface temperatures of around 79°F (26°C) or higher, low atmospheric wind shear, and high relative humidity from the surface up through the lower troposphere are a few of the primary characteristics that will promote tropical cyclone development. The second ingredient needed is a cluster of thunderstorms or some sort of cyclonic circulation within the favorable environment. Combined these two factors together, and a disorganized cluster of thunderstorms has a good shot to organize into a more formidable tropical storm or hurricane.
Typical breeding grounds for tropical development during the Atlantic Hurricane season extend from the Cape Verde Islands (located approximately 350 miles to the west of Africa) westward into the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and then northward along the Gulf Stream waters of the western Atlantic Ocean. The best breeding grounds for tropical development fluctuate throughout the Hurricane Season.
Cloud formation over Ennepetal by "MichaelRudolph" on Dec. 8, 2016.
Clouds on Mt. Rainier by "Luke" on Dec. 8, 2016.
Bitterly cold air will get reinforced across the western half of the country into early next week. A Midwest storm will bring accumulating snow to eastern Canada later this weekend.
Find out how the storm will affect you
Expect a 1-6 inch snowstorm to come out of the Rockies and head to the Northeast.
Lake effect may not be the only snow story.
The cold air coming over the lakes will produce heavy lake-effect snow through Saturday.
Autumn fading in New York by "rrichnor" on Dec. 2, 2016.
For now, we have a weather pattern favorable for cold air to push south and it will at times. That will in turn lead to less moisture getting involved with fronts that move through compared to the last week or so.
Cold air already in place will bring ice and snow problems to the I-5 corridor Thursday into Friday as a winter storm moves through.