Latest Long-Range Outlook Through End of February 2018

Well, if there was a signal for the end of winter, many of us would think it is now. Warm and rainy is definitely not cold and snowy. And things will continue to heat up this week as we head into Valentine’s Day. The warmth will spread across much of the US. But sunshine is not guaranteed.

We covered in a previous post how Valentine’s Day will be warm, but in case you missed the image, here is the GEFS ensembles for late on the 14th in the first image. Remember the stratospheric warming event that was supposed to take place, and the polar shift that was supposed to happen along with it? It’s happening, but not for the East Coast. The Polar Vortex will split, but will send the cold air to the western US. Second image is for the 17th. The ridge of high pressure remains strong over the Southeast and thus warm.

Will the cold be able to break through and make it to the East Coast? As long as the ridge hangs tough over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, it will act as a block to any type of cold outbreaks, especially extended cold outbreaks. The ridge wants to remain all the way into the 20th. GEFS ensembles shown for that date. In fact, all the way into the end of the month, it appears to be the same story. The west gets the storms, mountain snows, and flooding, while the east is under a “blowtorch.” Ensembles want to keep us warm at least through the 27th (second image).

With the ridge of high pressure positioned where it is, it does not mean warm and dry, but rather warm and wet. The ensembles keep the Southeast very wet for the rest of this month. This is good news for farmers and grain traders. They may be able to get an early start on the growing season. The clockwise flow around the high pressure system will pump up Gulf moisture and will cause showers and thunderstorms across the Southeast. Also, this tropical flow will keep us warm and moist.

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Mike Griffith


East Coast Weather Authority


Author: Michael Griffith

I have had a passion for the weather since a very young age and am a degreed meteorologist. I have a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and a Master's from Plymouth State University. If you ever see me out and about in the Charlotte, NC area, be sure to say hi!