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Tip Sheets

Polar Jet trend threatens early, frequent winter storms in Northeast

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson

A large fall snow storm is moving into the Northeast and communities are preparing for sleet and snow to impact travel plans.

Mark Wysocki

Mark Wysocki

Meteorologist and Senior Lecturer

Mark Wysocki is a meteorologist who specializes in forecasting and weather analysis at the Northeast Regional Climate Center. He says slippery roads and heavy snowfall are in the forecast, and that the current Polar Jet pattern could signal high frequency early coastal storms in the Northeast.

Wysocki says:

“The calm before the storm is upon us as a large shield of altostratus clouds move ahead from the strong coastal storm. The storm is organizing well as the northern and southern branches of the Polar Jet merge over the Ohio River valley.

“The costal storm is gaining strength and the numerical weather models are coming into agreement as to the types and amounts of precipitation. There will be a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow from Boston to Albany to Wilkes-Barre to Roanoke today. Travel will be impacted this afternoon and evening with slippery roads and periods of heavy snowfall.”

"If the Polar Jet allows cold Canadian air to penetrate southward to Texas, then the storm track changes, to where storms originate over the Gulf region of Texas and then move up along the East Coast.  If this pattern ‘locks-in’, which it seems to be doing, then we (the Northeast) will have a higher frequency for coastal storms for the beginning of winter. 

“So far for the month of November we are 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit below average, and with the forecast for 10-12 degrees Fahrenheit below average for the period Saturday through Thursday, this cold trend will continue.”

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