Extended Dry Spell in West Signals Cold for East

By , Meteorologist
January 15, 2013; 7:13 AM ET
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An extended dry period will last at least another week across the entire West Coast, a rare feat for this time of the year.

Typically, the heart of winter is a stormy time for the West Coast, particularly across the Northwest.

A large area of high pressure off the Northwest coast for the next week or so will force any storms to move well north of the area.

"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," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said. "It's unusual to have this long of a [dry] period of time, especially unusual given than its all the way from the Northwest to southern-most California."

Since the West gets most of its precipitation during the winter, extended dry spells and snow droughts in the mountains can have implications of California's water supply.

"I am not sure there is any impact yet on the water supply, since there is a lot of winter to go yet," Clark said.

An offshore flow will bring a warming trend for Southern California, which has experienced unusually cool weather recently.

Temperatures will be seasonably cool across the Northwest, including mid- to upper 40s in Seattle and Portland.

Photo by Flickr user nathan makan.

West Coast Ridge Signals Colder Air in the East
Meanwhile, the large area of high pressure in the West signals the return of cold to portions of the East.

To make up for the jet stream buckling northward in the West, it will dip southward farther east.

"Eventually the cold air is going to fight its way into the East," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "It may not make it all the way into the southern Atlantic."

The first shot of cold will take aim at New England later this week.


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