Well now that Winter temperatures have been returned to the East by the cold front passage, after a brief hiatus, the polar vortex will once again influence our weather pattern. Along with the polar vortex will come some snowy surprises, as Alberta Clipper systems stream down and bring a light snowfall to sections of the Northeast throughout the next five days. The once Friday clipper which brought surprises to Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey coast has left the region and behind, clipper #2.
Current radar shows an aggressive swath of snow tracking across the Ohio Valley. This accompanied by a low pressure will sling shot Eastward Friday overnight and affect more of the region Saturday with a light snowfall.
So what causes these clippers to come down and influence our area? Let’s begin with the current one for Saturday.
For starters, the polar vortex (the air mass that usually is positioned over the center of the arctic), will once again descend into Southeastern Canada, and overpower the Southeast Ridge, enabling the colder weather to dominate once again into next weekend, although the polar vortex will tend to migrate back to the Arctic after that. However, the polar vortex contains energy packets that if they gain enough momentum and strength, they can break away from the polar vortex’s grasp, and travel along a trough that is located next to the polar vortex.
Think of it like a satellite (clipper system) orbiting a planet (the polar vortex). If the satellite accelerates enough and reaches a certain speed the planet (polar vortex) is not strong enough to grasp the clipper, and it separates. This will occur once the clipper reaches the ocean, and that is going to be exactly the case as the Northeast is likely impacted by one, and potentially two clipper systems. In this case we find the above clipper to bring another surge of colder air along with it this highlighted in blue. The orange arrows indicate still some Southerly flow from the South enhancing the clipper feature with snow. This being observed during more of Saturday.
Clipper Saturday-Saturday Night
Overnight and the early first half of the day Saturday the team shows below a quick visual of snow movement from West to East. We find most of the heaviest snow hovering around already advised areas of the Ohio Valley.
Overnight & Saturday Snowfall Accumulation
The clipper system will first affect the Ohio Valley and Westwards of the Mid-Atlantic first. Beyond from Central Pennsylvania to the coast the team will update accumulations. For now we advise you use the forecast in this update mostly over the Ohio Valley.
A clipper system is expected to cross into the region overnight Friday and affect those in the Western regions for the first half of the day Saturday. By then the team will update conditions further off to the East, accumulations and forecasts included. One at at time. For now we expect those affected to experience snowfall at the very least of a coating to upwards of 2-4″ especially over the winter weather advised areas.
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