Full Court Press of Winter Ahead

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

I am not really going to bother talking about the weather upcoming for next few days…simply because it is so boring. It’s mainly cool and dry with a mix of sun and clouds…moving on! I am sure you are all aware by now.

What has me and I am sure all of you jazzed what lies ahead for this weekend and beyond! So let’s get to it. Just like in a basketball game, suddenly this winter has gone on the offensive and is going into a full court press. You may not know it yet..but the weather is starting to line up for plenty of cold with the chance for a few snowstorms before the month is through.

Obviously, this far out in the game we are just having fun tossing the ball around…but the pressure will mount as these storms start to bear down.

High pressure is currently parked over Greenland. This is a very typical blocking pattern in a negative North Atlantic Oscillation. The Arctic Oscillation will remain negative straight through mid-January as well. These are all favorable signs for cold, troughs and storm formation across the northeast.

 This high will gradually start to move westward this week towards Hudson Bay. This will push energy and cold down into the continental US and spill right into a deepening trough in the eastern US.  This energy will combine with energy coming from the Southwest US along the subtropical Jetstream. When and Where these two merge is the big question. But all signs show a merging and deepening off the  mid-Atlantic coast with another intensifying storm off the coast of New England in the late Friday-Saturday timeframe. This storm will gel south of us, then deepen east of us and possibly back into us before pulling away. 

Of course this far out plenty of variables are still in play so anything can happen really. But it does appear we have a storm to deal with.. which will likely provide a plowable snow and strong winds at the coast again. I do not think this will be as powerful a storm as the last…but is still could come with a wallop depending on how and where it deepens! The potential for over 6″ of snow is certainly there…but again…too much can happen between now and then to nail anything down now.

Once this storm leaves…colder air will continue to press down from Canada. Setting the table for the next storm. Again the combination of energy spilling in from the Northwest and linking up with energy from the Southwest US will be the origins of another possible storm in the January 12th-13th timeframe. This storm has the makings of being even stronger than the storm that will likely affect us this weekend. With cold arctic air charging south with an active polar jet, clashing in with warmer moist air supplied by the southern jet, this second storm will certainly have more moisture to play with as a low should track out of the Gulf of Mexico and then up the eastern seaboard.

Impossible to say at this point where that will track inside or east…but there will be so much cold in the pattern it is hard to see anything but snow..even if the low tracks over the Cape! So round 2 in the middle of next week has real potential as well. Behind this storm…guess what?…more cold where the coldest air of the season will likely settle in. ..just in time for the heart of winter! Best bet is to just focus on round 1…but I know you are curious so why not talk about it…that is what this blog is here for right?

Again..we are just tossing the ball around right now. A simple game of toss. Nothing but pure speculation at this point. But you and I know what time it is.  The deck is stacked. It is just a matter if all the cards fall into place at just the right time. Nothing to do now but wait and enjoy the fair weather….and keep and eye on the not so distant future!

  • WeatherWizard

    Thanks Joe and Happy New Year!

  • WeatherWizard

    I wonder if we will have any Patriots’ playoff games in the snow?

  • JimmyJames

    Happy New Year Joe and I can’t wait for late week and beyond tracking POTENTIAL snow. The Snow Index might get a good workout before the month of January is over.

  • Scott

    Thanks for the update Joe, that was perfectly said. We shall see what happens in the next few days. I think it’s safe to say that their arnt any thaws in sight. So any snow that does fall with be hanging around for quite some time.

  • kat

    Happy New year, Joe. And thanks for the insight into what MAY come. As a snow lover, I hope it all comes to fruition…..althought the bones aren’t aching yet…lol

    • shotime

      Too soon for any joint aching, at least for me. Mine usually start the day before. I’ve heard it has something to do with barometric pressure change???? Kat, did your bones ever end up aching before the last storm?

  • leo

    Thanks Joe, Great blog! Keep up the good work!

  • Mazza

    Cant wait till Friday

  • leo

    I understans the 18z GFS ?doesnt hold much weight in the forecasting community but what about the 00zGFS? Is that a much better model run?Thanks!

    • Hadi

      12z and 00z was much better, they initialize better and have more data to use.

  • Hadi

    Thanks Joe!! Really appreciate your thoughts and efforts in the blog. It should be an interesting 10 days ahead!! Btw here is EURO for next week in anyone is interested::))


  • leo

    Are we going to have a strong high pressure to the north for the next system or a weaker high? Thanks!

  • leo

    Thanks Hadi! Enjoy your blogs also!

  • RMB

    Joe thanks again and Happy NewYear as well..

  • leo

    Im afraid to go to florida at the end of February, dont want to miss a storm! Is that sick or what? Cant help it though!

    • Cat966G

      Thats why i take my winter vacations in late march or early april

  • BaileyMan

    Well nice job and analysis Joe but, I do think you are definitely underplaying the potential of this first upcoming late week and/or weekend storm threat! Due to the alignment of the upper level winds along with counterclockwise upper wind dynamics, the storm could easily retrograde enough getting caught within the vortex of circulation aloft, allowing the storm to stack and temporarily stall or, barely crawl within the center of the atmospheric “whirlwind”. Meanwhile being re-energized by packets of energy rotating around the area of low pressure circulation perhaps as low as 968 mbs! Before being bumped far enough off the coast sometime Sunday allowing precipitation to taper off and end! The way I see it the potential is there for at least 10 to 20 inches of snow! ~ Or more, should the storm intensify and slow down even further than current models suggest?! Now I do need to point out, I am in NO way predicting this will definitely occur! In other words, I will not take a stab at the forecast until Wednesday. We all know computer models are sophisticated but, when predicting future events, especially ones that entail potentially powerful storms, it is prudent to be cautious and understanding that things can and sometimes do change!

    • Hadi

      Always well said BM

    • Scott

      Either way, we are in a cold and snowy pattern. Hopefully the models don’t do a 180 on us by morning.

    • TomfromActon

      baileyman are you a met? you are pretty good!

      • Topkatt88

        BaileyMan is a seasoned veteran met, probably older than I am. ;-)

  • JimmyJames

    Leo I am going away in February for a few days so I hope we have a boring weather pattern or if it is going to snow I hope it will be a MINOR event.

  • john

    Baileyman is so awesome…he is the best on this whole blog…he’s been right with every storm…almost like he controls the weather…god is that you?

  • john

    I’m just kidding…I know its not god but by my count he has been right on each storm so far.

  • smitty

    haha john baileyman may be a good met but topkatt is better, if it was a competition it would be no contest lol

  • Hadi

    Btw not sure if anyone posted this earlier fromHPC


  • http://joejoycewbz.wordpress.com joejoycewbz

    I certainly am underselling this storm at this point. I do not want to be accused of starting the “Hype” so early. Best to have a few more runs come in. But don’t think I have not thought exactly what Baileyman so eloquently stated. I don’t think I could say it so perfectly if I wanted to. Well done! A sizeable storm is certainly in the works…if it all comes together…

    • Hadi

      Please don’t worry about what some people say Joe!! You do a great job!!
      Please always tell us what you really think hype or not:))

  • BaileyMan

    Thanks for the kind words John ah but a “bit tongue and cheek” hey?! Loll and this winter season I have been pretty lucky to this point…I must say! But, the season is young and well? You know…. By the end of the winter season I’m sure I will have missed prognosticated a few. But, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself with the next storm now! And yes, Topkatt who is without equal on this, and perhaps any blog is one of the most versed and knowledgeable mets I have ever come across! As for me, I have dabbled in forecasting but in the distant uh hmm! past? Let’s just say! And I’ll keep my past a bit of a secret too at my ripe old age of 51. Does that top you Topkatt? Or, Brian? Sorry…Lol

    • Topkatt88

      Geez go out shopping and I come back to all this? Good thing I DVR’d the Bruins, because I need to watch that now while I start looking over these weather charts. So, you’re 51 eh? I’m only 43, so you have me beat on the year thing!

      Great blogs btw. Always like your analysis whether I agree with your conclusions or not. :-)

  • matt

    seasonable temps this week . after seasonably warm and moist over the holiday weekend. the models are agreeing that a coastal storm will form off the coast. there are 2 scenerios that i give 40 percent chances of happening one a massive storm hits all of southern new england. with a possible mix for boston southern areas. and coast. 2 we get snow but not the most northorn new england gets the most. as the storm streangthens in gulf of maine. 3 which is 20 percent it goes out to see and brushes us another storm for mid week next week

  • Douglas Cote

    In case anyone is interested, this site has a pretty decent aggregation of models and a helpful tutorial discussing how to read the maps:


    • lorrie51

      Thank you, Douglas; for those of us who are really, really amatures, it is an interesting site.

  • mark

    joe your a total wack job,chill out and forecast the weather.

  • RexRyan

    joe, great blog. Appreciate you letting us know what the potential is with the upcoming storm. I for one am concerned the storm will be too far OTS or more for northern new england. I am pulling for the 18Z DGEX. Keep up the good blogs Joe..

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