Snowstorm in Japan Could Mean Snowstorm in Eastern US

March 18, 2011; 6:15 AM
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Play video For more details on the teleconnection between Japan and the eastern U.S., click on this video.

The same setup that brought a snowstorm to part of Japan this week could show up in the eastern U.S. during the middle of next week.

While the budding warmth late this week in the eastern U.S. is tempting, don't put away the snow shovels or take the snow tires off the car just yet.

A dip in the jet stream, known as a trough, has been producing cold and snow in Japan in the wake of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks. meteorologists are well aware of a connection between a trough in Japan, and then a trough in the eastern U.S. 7 to 10 days later.

Snow covers an area hit by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Kenji Shimizu)

While these troughs almost always bring cold weather, sometimes they bring snow during the fall, winter and early spring, and severe weather later in the spring and summer.

Interestingly, some of the tools that we use, such as computer models, are showing one or more storms with snow swinging eastward from the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts spanning Tuesday to Thursday of next week.

While the details of timing and nature of the precipitation associated with the storms has yet to be determined, there is at least a possibility that one or more swaths of accumulating snow will stretch from part of the Midwest to the East Coast next week, including part of the South.

Regardless of the location and amount of snow, or number of snow showers, it is going to get much colder for a several-day period next week for most areas east of the Mississippi River.

The region around Sendai, Japan received several inches of snow spanning Tuesday night into Wednesday this week.

The snow and cold added further misery to desperate rescue attempts as the hope for finding survivors in the rumble across the region dwindled.


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