GFS upper air pattern Friday March 1st shows upper low over New England
GFS upper air pattern Friday, March 8th shows persistent Greenland ridge
An upper level low moving from the Texas Panhandle through the Mid-South toward the eastern Great Lakes will blanket parts of the Plains with one to two feet of snow over the next 48 hours. The first image shows the GFS model's predicted snowfall through Tuesday with a foot or more of snow from the Texas Panhandle through parts of Oklahoma into Kansas. It's interesting to see the model generate light snow in Tennessee on Tuesday. Surface temperatures here in the upper 30s to lower 40s should prevent the snow from sticking, but I expect spotty rain showers to mix with snow showers by afternoon.
The second image shows the GFS model's predicted rainfall through Tuesday. Moisture on the south side of this system will range from a half inch to one inch around Tennessee. Parts of the Deep South could pick up 2" to 4" of rainfall with this system.
We're not finished with winter yet! The cold air that arrives tomorrow sticks around through the weekend. With lingering light moisture, small chances of rain or snow showers last through the rest of the week. Surface temperatures will be above freezing during the daytime so getting anything to stick will by an uphill challenge.
One of the reasons the eastern United States will be cold this week is the development of a blocking ridge of high pressure around Greenland and eastern Can dada through the week. This feature shunts the jet stream southward, keeping the cold air farther south than usual.
You can see that ridge start to show up in the third image, which is Friday's upper air pattern on the GFS model. The big upper level low that's currently over the Texas Panhandle gets hung up in New England and southeastern Canada.
The chilly pattern may last the rest of this week through most of next week. The fourth image is the GFS model forecast for next Friday, March 8th and the large blocking ridge of high pressure is still around. That means that the jet stream will continue to be forced from the Upper Midwest down through the Mid-South and across the Northeast, keeping all of those areas below average.
If you're a snow lover, it's too bad we couldn't have had this pattern around in January or February. While some small snow shower chances will be with us for a prolonged period, it would have been easier for snow to accumulate if the days were still a little shorter and the average temperatures were a bit colder. We'll see what happens.