Wintry, or just cold and damp for Thanksgiving?
If this forecast proves accurate, you read it here first. If not, forget I even mentioned it.
Forecasters are beginning to talk about a surge of arctic air into the mid-Atlantic states next week. Just add water and you could have some unpleasant weather for the holiday week, especially if you're traveling north and west of the mid-Atlantic states.
It's still a week away, and things can change, of course. But here's what's being tossed out there at the moment.
Eric the Red, a professional forecaster from Baltimore who has been a wintertime contributor here since last winter's blizzards, sees a negative shift setting up in the North Atlantic Oscillation. It's a pattern of barometric pressure in the Atlantic that can bring cold air into the Northeast. If a nice, wet coastal storm happens by during one of these shifts to a negative NAO, it can produce snow.
Here's what Eric said earlier today:
"Last winter, I went on and on and on and on and on and on... about the "blocking high" over the northern Atlantic (negative phase of the NAO) and the slam-dunk cold weather that accompanied it. Well, we got it comin' again.
"Models show a very strong blocking high beginning to develop over the northern Atlantic during the latter half of the upcoming weekend, and then have it moving slowly west toward the Davis Straight next week ... If this plays out the way it is depicted, arctic air that is bottled up in Canada would begin to push south and east.. and reach the Mid-Atlantic next Weds or Thurs (Thanksgiving), and then set up shop for a spell.
"The million dollar question is whether we'll see any storms developing in the southern branch of the jet stream, and it's way too early to get into that at this time. So, our first taste of winter is still a week or so away, but we could go from late-spring to mid-winter temperatures rather rapidly just in time for the Holiday."
The National Weather Service's 8- to 14-day outlook predicts colder-than-average temperatures moving into the region from the northwest (blue on the map), and above-average precipitation chances just to our north and west. Maybe that's just a recipe for a cold rain.
Here's what AccuWeather.com is saying. "We are watching the weekend after Thanksgiving for a potential snowstorm in the Northeast, but right now, it is a little early to tell if it is coming or not."