The latest indications are that storm systems will remain rather modest and will move swiftly across the nation into next week, but a change is possible beginning in mid-November.
In the new and upcoming pattern, the storms will tend to be larger and slow-moving and could pack quite a wallop. The storms are likely to bring snow to some areas that have not yet seen the white stuff so far this season.
The late-November pattern is predicted to bring heavy snow to high elevations in the West with rain and rough seas on the coast. Rounds of gusty winds would buffet the Southwest with the potential for severe weather episodes on the southeastern flank of the storms over the Central states. Windswept snow could fall over the northern Plains and Upper Midwest as the storms turn northward. As the storms then turn eastward, snow may fall on upstate New York and northern New England with a wintry mix possible in part of the Ohio Valley to the interior mid-Atlantic.
Some folks over the Midwest and part of the Northeast who have avoided snow thus far may have to use their shovel and car brush for the first time this season.
According to Long Range Weather Expert Brett Anderson, "The jet stream will stretch pretty much straight across the nation from west to east this week into part of next week. However, starting later next week, the jet stream may begin to buckle southward over the West."
The jet stream is a river of strong winds high in the atmosphere, around the altitude that planes fly. It marks the zone where most storms move along. The jet stream separates cold air to its north from warm air to its south.
When the jet is flat like that which is expected into next week, storms are fast-moving and rather weak.
Paul Pastelok, head of the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team, said, "A stormier and colder pattern may unfold later in the month for the West, with enough of a wedge of chilly air in the Northeast to make things interesting for snow in northern areas."
The more amplified pattern favors frequent storms dropping in from the northern Pacific Ocean, hitting the Northwest, pushing across the Great Basin and Central and northern Rockies, then taking a turn to the northeast across the Plains and the Upper Midwest. As the storms encounter cold air over part of the Northeast, some rounds of snow or wintry mix events may unfold, rather than rain every where.
"In such a pattern, the East would be mostly quiet and mild, but a couple of wintry storms could make the trip to the Atlantic coast mid-to late month, tapping into the few chilly air masses that move out from building snow cover over southern Canada," Pastelok said.
The details on the pattern change will unfold in the coming days. Meanwhile, look for modest, fast-moving storms to sweep across the nation every few days, preceded by warmups and followed by quick cold shots in northern areas only.
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