The NOAA Climate Prediction Center offers a daily look at the top analog weather patterns for the 8-14 and 6-10 day forecast. The top-10 analogs are listed on the graphic. Of course, those dates do not mean anything unless you know what the weather was like when the jet stream pattern was similar to what is forecast. We went back and looked at the weather in Providence, RI during the week around the top-10 analog dates for the current forecast centered on January 26, 2014. See the graphics below.
What does all this mean?
How much can we learn from all of this? While it’s not going to tell us too much about the specific weather that will happen in New England in the last week of January, we can definitely get an idea about what is coming our way. The bottom-line is the pattern almost always leads to a significant cold shot, but not always a lot of snow. The top-five analog years all featured at least one day when the temperature was more than 15° colder than normal. However, only one of the top-5 years had a snowstorm within three days of the analog date.
The long-range computer models are showing not just the cold shot, but also the potential for snowy weather during the week of January 26. We are highly confident in the cold forecast. The snow, however, is much harder to predict in the 8-14 day range. As we’ve mentioned in the Long Range forecast, it’s a high potential pattern.