Right on the Edge

After a very active December, the weather has been extremely quiet of late.

A shift in the jet stream has meant few storm systems to deal with and very limited wintry weather in recent weeks. January temperatures ended up well above average (4.8F above average at Hyannis) and precipitation was well below the long-term average (just 1.31 inches of precipitation recorded at Hyannis) around the area. And February has picked up right where January left off, as quiet and unseasonably mild conditions have greeted us for the first few days of the month. Highs today will be well into the 40s yet again…and readings at or above 50F are possible both Thursday and Friday.

That said…there are changes on the horizon.

While sustained bitter cold is not anticipated in the coming days, it is evident that we are about to enter into a fairly active weather pattern that should result in a rollercoaster temperature ride and plenty of precipitation. The combination of arctic cold dropping southward into Canada thanks to some ridging into Alaska and plenty of warmth over the Lower 48 states thanks to a strong southeast ridge over the United States will set up a weather “battle zone” over the eastern United States. That battle zone will oscillate north and south in the coming weeks, with numerous weather systems riding along it and taking advantage of the tight temperature gradient.

The result is likely to be several fast-moving storm systems ejecting out of the Southern Plains and riding north and eastward from there…each with the potential to bring some meaningful precipitation. New England looks to end up right in the middle of the battle zone…on the edge of the deep cold and on the edge of spring-like warmth.

You can see on the ECMWF ensemble mean (the average of 51 individual models) that precipitation is expected to be above average over the next 2 to 3 weeks:

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