Share this article:
A storm due to track northeastward from the Gulf of Mexico next week may break some of the winter weather drought occurring from the Northwest to the East.
Since the storm later next week will be ejected during a period of warmth, it will bring mostly rain to most places from the Tennessee Valley and the South to New England.
However, based on signals we have been seeing recently, the storm will cause cold air to empty southward from Canada onto the Plains and Midwest in its wake.
Many of the same signals also point toward sustained cold for the first time from the southern Canada Prairies to southeastern Canada and some of the northern U.S. beginning a short time after the storm's departure.
So essentially, the storm may get the ball rolling as it rolls into northeastern Canada, unlocking the gates.
According to Long Range Expert Paul Pastelok, "There is often a delay when these signals first appear and when the atmosphere reacts."
Where this cold temperature boundary stops will be critical for the storm track during the second half of January and perhaps beyond into February.
This appears to be the most valiant attempt this winter to set up a busy cross-country storm track from west to east.
This does not mean the pattern will drive frigid air and snow and ice deep into the South, but Central and Northern states would have multiple opportunities for snow or storms that bring a wintry mix.
There may be continuing problems with episodes of warmth in the west to east boundary zone, but there only has to be freezing temperatures at a critical layer in the atmosphere for snow and ice to occur during all or part of a storm.
Even though the default jet stream pattern may be a west to east (zonal) pattern, there seems to be more opportunity for cold air to slip underneath into the Northern states prior to the arrival of the storms.
Later in the month, the pattern could yield a little less warmth for the West and the opportunity for a few sizable storms to swing in from the Pacific. However, their moisture would dwindle moving into California.
At this time, we cannot give more detail than this.
There is a pattern change coming, but it will not be immediate.
As we said recently, even a shift toward normal winter weather will be quite a change for many folks, especially in the Northern states.
This story was originally published at 12:00 noon EST, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
Residents on Hawaii's Big Island are facing a new danger this week now that lava has entered the ocean--laze, a mix of hydrochloric acid, steam and fine glass particles.
Outdoor festivities during Memorial Day holiday weekend may be in jeopardy across the eastern and northwestern United States, while the Midwest welcomes a drying trend.
Although thunderstorms containing damaging winds and hail rattled the south-central Plains on Saturday, the risk for severe weather will be significantly lower in the Ohio Valley into Sunday night.
Dangerous heat is expected to worsen across northern India this week as both the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are monitored for tropical cyclone development.
Following a plethora of damaging wind and hail reports in the western Plains on Friday, the next round of severe thunderstorms has its sights set on the central and southern Plains into Saturday evening.
A needed break from the persistent rounds of showers and thunderstorms is finally on the horizon for the mid-Atlantic, but not before more downpours start the new week.
A resurgence of tropical moisture is expected to further increase the downpours that spell good and bad news for the southeastern United States as Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches.
Contestants in the 2018 Preakness Stakes race may face a muddy track in Baltimore on Saturday.