Ice Fishing Into March by Joe Cioffi

Updated on Monday February 16, 2015 at 7:30pm est


Since mid January the pattern has been pretty much locked into one which continues to deliver one cold air mass after another as Joestradamus pontificated back on January 19th. This has come also with a stormier pattern which has been brought above normal snowfall if you happen to be north of latitude 40 degrees or basically from New York City northward. Upstate New York and New England have been hit very hard by snow while those on the Southern fringe of this zone have seen snowfall for the winter near normal or just a little bit above. Of course anyone south of New York City has been sitting in a snow hole (Philadelphia Baltimore and Washington DC among others). So at this stage and with a little less than 5 weeks left of the astronomical winter season and only 12 days left to meteorological winter lets see what the upper air pattern is suggesting for the next few weeks.

First off we will start with the upper air flow for next Monday. Until then we will have another arctic air mass arrive here Wednesday of this week and then another follows that one later in the weekend coming up. The jet stream pattern continues to favor one cold air mass after another to come down into the eastern states. The Atlantic ridge is keeping the polar vortex locked into Eastern Canada. The pacific ridge has it locked in from the other side. And we have a bit of a split flow in the west.


All of this suggests no break to the colder than normal weather in sight. In fact if you look on the temperature anomaly map below we are in that purple area that indicates temperatures will be running below normal by 15 to 20 degrees C…or about 25 to 35 degrees below normal!! That is an astounding departure from normal and would mean more record or near record cold weather. The trough position the east is not favorable for big storms to develop as it suppresses moisture to the south; at least that is the case at the beginning of next week. In fact it would appear now that anything that moves across the United States might actually be too far south!

Until that ridge in the Atlantic breaks down it would be highly unlikely that the polar vortex position will change very much. That means that the passageway for arctic air masses to come down into the east continues. These air masses have been especially cold as the air has its origins from the coldest regions on earth. The only positive way to look at this is that normals are rising by 1 degree every 3 or 4 days so at least the departure from normal is coming from a higher number if only slightly. I doubt you would convince someone that there is a difference of a low of zero and a low of 5 except for the math. It is still very cold. On the anomaly map on day 10 which is Thursday another brutal air mass is centered over the mid west so the first air mass pulls out and another arrives. It would seem there could be a threat for snow in between those air masses but it could also be as simple as another arctic front moving through.

Running through next week you can see the jet stream pretty much holds form with no real overall changes. The players still remain in place. Systems will be rotating through but judging from this they continue to be dominated by northern stream energy with not much happening in the south. This means clipper systems will continue to rule the roost overall and the threat for snow if any will come if one of these clipper systems decides to dive and dig into the east. But it is likely to do so in the same fashion as the others. That means that Boston may not be done just yet! And it also means that New York City will continue to be on the edge of every event at least for the next 10 or so days.

In the meantime there is the threat for some snow tomorrow but it doesn’t look to be a big deal. More on that on the snow forecast page as the National Weather Service puts up their forecast maps and I put up mine on my forecast page.

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