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Climate Prediction Center

U.S. Hazards Outlook - Made Jan 26, 2015

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Valid Thursday, January 29, 2015 to Monday, February 09, 2015

Summary of Forecasts and Hazards

US Hazards Outlook
NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EST January 26 2015

Synopsis: A low pressure system is forecast to rapidly track east from the Midwest on Thursday. This surface low is expected to intensify near northern New England on Friday. Meanwhile, an upper-level area of low pressure is forecast to remain over the Southwest later this week. A strong surface high is expected to shift south from Canada to the north-central U.S. by this weekend. Surface high pressure is forecast to persist across northern and eastern Alaska during the next week.

  • Heavy snow for parts of northern New England, Fri, Jan 30.
  • High winds for the Northeast, Fri-Sat, Jan 30-31.
  • Much below-normal temperatures expanding southeast from the upper Mississippi Valley to the eastern U.S., Sat-Mon, Jan 31-Feb 2.
  • Heavy snow for the higher elevations of Arizona and New Mexico, Fri-Sat, Jan 30-31.
  • A slight to moderate risk of much below-normal temperatures for much of the eastern U.S., Tue-Wed, Feb 3-4.
  • Severe drought for the Central and Southern Great Plains, Southwest, Great Basin, California, and the Pacific Northwest.
Detailed Summary

For Thursday January 29 - Monday February 02: Another clipper low pressure system is expected to move from the Midwest to the East Coast early in the period. Model guidance indicates an intensifying surface low near northern New England on Friday. Heavy snow, 6 inches or more, is most likely across northern New England on Friday with this surface low but may extend as far south as Boston. Since snowfall amounts are more uncertain for Boston, a heavy snow hazard is not posted for this region at this time. As the surface low strengthens, high winds (greater than 30 knots) are forecast to develop across the Northeast and continue through Saturday.

A 1036-hpa surface high is expected to shift southeast from Canada and bring much-below normal temperatures (negative anomalies of 12 degrees F or more) to the upper Mississippi Valley on Saturday and then to parts of the eastern U.S. by Monday. A widespread area of subzero minimum temperatures is forecast across the Great Lakes and Northeast on Sunday and Monday mornings. Lake-effect snow is expected to accompany the cold air advection this weekend.

A broad upper-level trough interacting with subtropical moisture is forecast to result in widespread precipitation developing across the Southwest by Friday. Heavy snow, 6 inches or more, is expected across the higher elevations of Arizona and New Mexico on Friday and Saturday. Snow and/or freezing rain is possible across the southern high Plains and Big Bend region of Texas later this week, but high uncertainty on precipitation type and amounts precludes designation of these winter weather hazards at this time.

Early next week, the potential exists for snow and freezing rain to spread east from the southern Great Plains and affect the eastern U.S. Due to poor model continuity and lack of model agreement, no winter weather hazards can be specified at this time.

Alaska is expected to remain mostly dry with below-normal temperatures due to a persistent surface high.

For Tuesday February 03 - Monday February 09: An amplified upper-level trough is expected to maintain below-normal temperatures across the eastern U.S. during Week-2. The GEFS Reforecast Tool indicates more than a 40 percent chance of minimum temperatures reaching the lower 15th percentile on February 3 and 4 across the Northeast. Therefore, a moderate risk of much-below normal temperatures is posted for this region. An upper-level ridge is forecast to maintain above-normal temperatures across much of the western U.S. California is expected to remain dry during Week-2, while an increase in onshore flow brings periods of rain and high-elevation snow to the Pacific Northwest during early February.

The most recent U.S. drought monitor, released on January 22, 2015 indicates a very slight increase in the areal coverage of severe to exceptional drought (D2 to D4) from 16.65 to 16.97 percent across the continental U.S.

Forecaster: Brad Pugh


Click here to see a display of the GFS Ensemble Forecasts

Please consult local NWS Forecast Offices for short range forecasts and region-specific information.

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