January’s final stretch; February pattern change

Tomer’s Take

  • A fast moving cold front delivers light snow accumulation to MT, UT, WY, UT, CO, NM between 1/24-1/25.
  • Cold air and 2-3 Alberta Clippers this week for the Northeast. A larger storm system possible this weekend in VT, NH, ME.
  • Pattern could flip in February with snow returning to the West.

Infrared satellite and storm track shows the Western high pressure ridge.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/24/2022 5am.

February Pattern Change?

Confidence is growing for a pattern change starting February 1. Lower pressures could replace the big Western high pressure ridge. Snow could return to California for the first time in a month.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/1/2022, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

1/24-1/28:

Inches of total snow 1/24-1/28.

1/29-2/2:

Inches of total snow 1/29-2/2.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

Snow forecast this week

Tomer’s Take

  • 1-2 minor cold fronts race through MT, WY, CO, NM between 1/24-1/26. Only glancing blows for UT, ID.
  • Possible pattern change by 2/1 across the West with a more active storm track.
  • 2-3 Alberta Clippers for the Northeast, lake effect, and possible larger weekend storm system.

Enjoyed some backcountry skiing on Saturday. Cold and crisp in Colorado! A couple inches of new snow made for fun conditions.

Ski mountaineering 1/22/2022.

In my forecast video I look at the storm track, 1-2 cold fronts, snow forecast through 2/1, and possible February pattern change.

Here’s my snow forecast from 1/23-2/1:

Inches of total snow 1/23-2/1.

Weekend snow forecast

Tomer’s Take

  • New snow is being reported this morning across the Tetons and Wasatch.
  • This cold front races through Colorado today with 2-6 inches of accumulation.
  • The next cold front hits MT, WY, CO, NM between 1/24-1/25.

Infrared satellite shows the storm track. These cold fronts hitting MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, NM are piercing the eastern periphery of the western high pressure ridge.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/21/2022, 5am.

Snow Forecast

1/21-1/23:

Inches of total snow 1/21-1/23.

1/24-1/30:

Inches of total snow 1/24-1/30.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

A look into early February

Tomer’ Take

  • Two cold fronts pierce the eastern periphery of the western high pressure ridge through 1/25 favoring MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, NM.
  • The overall pattern appears to flip by early February with lower atmospheric pressures and a dipping jet stream across the West.
  • This would suggest a shift to a more active, colder weather pattern by early February.

Infrared satellite shows the storm track. It allows two cold fronts to brush MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, and NM through 1/25.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/20/2022 5am.

Early February

There are signs the overall pattern could flip across the USA. Lower pressures could replace the big high pressure across the West.

Atmospheric pressure (500mb) anomalies valid 1/4/2022, GFS interpretation.

The Pacific North American Pattern (PNA) agrees. It turns negative, which can indicate a more active weather pattern across the West.

Pacific North American Pattern (PNA), GEFS model.

Snow Forecast

1/20-1/23:

Inches of total snow 1/20-1/23.

1/24-1/29:

Inches of total snow 1/24-1/29.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

Snow forecast next 8 days

Tomer’s Take

  • Cold front races north to south through MT, WY, UT, CO, and NM between Thursday-Friday-Saturday morning with light to moderate snow accumulation.
  • Another cold front possible 1/24-1/25.
  • The Northeast stays cold with light snow chances and lake-effect snow. A larger storm system stays far enough off the coast to miss the big ski areas this weekend.

Infrared satellite shows the storm track. These cold fronts are sneaking through the eastern periphery of the high pressure sitting over CA/NV.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/19/2022 5am.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time periods.

1/19-1/23:

Inches of total snow 1/19-1/23.

1/24-1/28:

Inches of total snow accumulation 1/24-1/28.

Three cold fronts pierce the high pressure ridge

Tomer’s Take

  • First front is minor and hits ID, MT, WY, and CO between 1/18-1/19.
  • Second front has more moisture and hits ID, MT, WY, UT, CO and NM between 1/20-1/21. Moderate snow accumulation in the Wasatch, Tetons, and Central & Northern Mountains of Colorado.
  • Third front is packing colder air and hits MT, WY, UT, CO and NM between 1/24-1/25.

Infrared satellite shows the storm track. You can see how all three cold fronts will sneak through the eastern periphery of the high pressure ridge. No snow for California through 1/27.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/18/2022 5am.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time periods.

1/18-1/21:

Most of this snow accumulation occurs 1/20-1/21.

Inches of total snow 1/18-1/21.

1/22-1/27:

Most of this snow accumulation occurs 1/24-1/25.

Inches of total snow 1/22-1/27.

Tonga eruption sent atmospheric shockwaves around the world

GOES-17 high resolution visible satellite captured the Hunga Tonga volcano blowing its top. How high did it shoot? Professor John Peters suggests it might’ve reached the Stratospheric canopy. That’s over 100,000 feet or higher into the vertical atmosphere.

GOES-17 high resolution visible satellite.

Here’s the Infrared channel from GOES-17. Notice the shockwaves –>

GOES-17 Infrared satellite.

The magnitude of the eruption is being called a once-in-a-decade-event. It was so powerful it sent atmospheric shockwaves around the world.

There was more than one atmospheric shockwave. I’ve seen evidence of three separate waves, at different magnitudes, at different times, and traveling at different directions like waves in a pond.

Here’s one shockwave timelapse courtesy Daryl Herzmann.

ASOS atmospheric pressure perturbations, data via NCEI/NWS.

Pattern through February 1

Tomer’s Take

  • Primary storm track favors the Northeast with numerous storm systems, Alberta Clippers, lake effect, and cold temperatures.
  • Western high pressure remains in place with occasional cold fronts sneaking through the periphery running through ID, MT, WY, CO and UT. This is in-line with a peaking La Nina pattern.
  • When will a larger pattern change hit the Intermountain West? Potentially around 2/1 when the Pacific North American (PNA) oscillation turns negative (see forecast below).

Infrared satellite shows the storm track with Western ridge and Eastern trough. Occasional cold fronts will sneak through the periphery of the Western ridge next two weeks.

Infrared satellite with storm track 1/17/2022 5am.

Snow & Blowing

Mount Washington recorded a 121mph wind gust Monday morning. It’s snowing and blowing at Okemo and Killington, VT.

Killington, VT 1/17/2022 9am.

Take a look at this video of a chair at Okemo blowing wildly!

Okemo, VT 1/17/2022.

Fronts Sneak Through

One of those cold fronts races through WY, MT, ID, UT, and CO this Thursday night-Friday (1/21). Notice the dip in the jet stream.

Jet stream (300mb) forecast valid 1/21, GFS interpretation.

We could see a similar cold front on 1/24-1/25 race through MT, WY, ID, UT, and CO.

This pattern is in-line with a peaking La Nina pattern.

ENSO 2020-2021-2022.

La Nina forecast:

Looking Down the Road

When will the Intermountain West see a larger pattern change? Potentially around 2/1. The Pacific North American (PNA) pattern turns negative towards the end of January. Negative PNA stacks the odds in favor of colder/stormier for the West.

Pacific North American Pattern (PNA) Ensemble forecast, 1/17/2022.

This agrees with the forecast pressure pattern around 2/1.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/31-2/1/2022, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

1/17-1/20:

Inches of total snow 1/17-1/20.

1/21-1/26:

Inches of total snow 1/21-1/26.

Nor` Easter forecast; Western high pressure

Tomer’s Take

  • The atmospheric pattern through the end of January favors the Northeast for cold and snow.
  • The West continues to be dominated by high pressure.
  • Minor amounts of snow will hit British Columbia and Montana.
  • When will this change? The high could stay locked-in through the end of January with only minor cold fronts sneaking through the eastern periphery.

I put together a video forecast analysis for both the Nor` Easter and the Western high pressure dome:

Snow forecast next 8 days

Tomer’s Take

  • The West is largely dominated by high pressure. A few small cold fronts will sneak through the eastern periphery through 1/23 with minor snow accumulation in MT, WY, UT, and CO.
  • Ski the Northeast this Sunday-Monday with a Nor` Easter on tap.
  • When will this pattern change for the Intermountain West? It could be a long wait and confidence is low. Potentially by 1/29 or later.

Infrared satellite shows the storm track and lack of activity across most of the West.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/14/2022 5am.

Looking down the road

A few small cold fronts will sneak through the eastern periphery of the Western high pressure. But, a larger pattern change could be a long way off. Below is one possible scenario around 1/29 with lower pressures building across the Intermountain West.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/29/2022, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time periods.

1/14-1/18:

1 small cold front sneaks through with minor snow in MT, CO.

Inches of total snow 1/14-1/18.

1/19-1/23:

1-2 cold fronts sneak through with minor snow in WY, MT, UT, CO.

Inches of total snow 1/19-1/23.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video: