Cold U.S. Pattern Abates Later February

12Z GFS Has A Snowy Northeast U.S. Forecast for Late Week
01/31/2022, 1:33 pm EST
Another Major U.S. Storm! Major Icing Event East-central States!
02/02/2022, 8:02 am EST
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Fig. 1: NOAA/NWS weather watch, warning and advisory areas currently in effect.

Discussion: A cold front moves into the East-central/Southeast Great Plains region by evening casing mostly rain. However, a developing low-pressure area in Colorado this evening shifts eastward tonight and draws arctic air from the north causing precipitation to expand and produce a large swath of snow by dawn tomorrow (Fig. 1) which spreads from the Continental Divide to the Western Ohio Valley. Freezing rain/ice accretion onset is overnight from Oklahoma to Illinois shifting into northern Texas while expanding to eastern Ohio on Thursday morning. Snow stretches from Western Texas to the northern Ohio Valley much of Thursday. The storm shifts into the East Friday with rain on the coast and snow for the central/northern Appalachians. The ECM 48-hour snowfall forecast indicates >1 foot of snow for a large stretch beginning with northwest Arkansas to Ohio to parts of northern New England (Fig. 2). The liquid equivalent for the upcoming storm is mostly rain featuring several inches for the Tennessee Valley and southward (Fig. 3). Ice accretion is a concern for this storm. Hardest hit areas on WED/WED night are southeast Oklahoma and southeast Missouri (Fig. 4). Ice accretion is also a concern along the Ohio Rover zone on Thursday (Fig. 5). In this zone freezing rain accretes to ¼ to ½ in. and could easily be higher. The cold blast into Texas is strongest Friday morning (Fig. 6) and slightly less cold at the coast for Saturday morning. The U.S. gas population weight HDD forecast is similar to yesterday and indicates above normal national heating demand through the middle of February (Fig. 7).

Fig. 2-3: ECM 48-hour snowfall forecast valid to Noon Friday (left) and the liquid precipitation total through Saturday night (right).

Fig. 4-5: NOAA/WPC freezing rain/ice accretion zones for Wednesday and Thursday.

Fig. 6: ERCOT minimum temperature forecast for Friday.

Fig. 7: U.S. gas population weight HDD forecast using all models, their consensus, comparison with 24 hours ago and the 30-year/10-year normal.