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    First Major Storm of February?

    January 29, 2012; 4:49 AM ET
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    AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring weather patterns for later this week that could allow a major storm to develop and affect the Northeast.

    The storm we speak of is currently a batch of energy over the northern Pacific Ocean.

    Indications are that this feature may hook up with a buckling jet stream at just the right time later in the week. The result could conjure up a potent storm system as it rolls out from Texas and heads to the Northeast.

    Significant snow could accompany the storm into the Northeast. Where that snow falls will depend on the storm's exact track.

    A Pattern-Changer?

    Indications are this storm will try to bring formidably cold air in its wake starting next weekend for the Midwest and Northeast. In turn, this could pave the way for future, snowier storms in the region.

    The polar vortex, essentially the jet stream equivalent of the meteorological north pole, may set up shop farther south for a time around Hudson Bay, Canada, during the second week of February. From here, cold air from near the pole would have more of a free ride into the Midwest and Northeast.

    During the second half of this week, the jet stream will be shuffling around. Only once that shuffling process ceases will the nature of the pattern be revealed moving forward.

    Recall that a southward shift in the jet stream during the second half of January contributed to an active storm track over the northern United States. A number of areas that had received little or no snow during the winter thus far finally got on the scoreboard. However, other than the Northwest and northern Rockies, it was nickel and dime snowfall.

    Ahead of the late week storm, a swath of accumulating snow will streak eastward over the Upper Midwest, northern New England and neighboring Canada spanning Monday into Wednesday. Certainly this is not a major storm, but another opportunity for some snow-starved areas.

    At least for a weather weenie standpoint, the pattern continues to look more interesting during February from the Midwest to the Northeast with perhaps not only cold air around, but also plenty of jet stream energy.

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