We've been talking about the pattern change coming next week and now forecasters across the country are starting to jump all over it. We most likely still have about 8-10 days before the flakes start flying but the changes will begin on Monday.
Starting Monday the ridge that has been off the coast blocking storms for the past 6 weeks will shift North in the Pacific. By the end of the week the forecast models have the ridge South of the Aleutian Islands and then pushing into Alaska by mid-month.
We have see this pattern before and what happens is that the storm track is pushed South down the West Coast under the ridge. We have not seen blocking in the North Pacific yet this season thanks to the positive Arctic Oscillation but it is now heading negative.
When blocking sets up it usually not only means snow but a prolonged period of storms hitting the West coast. We will be monitoring this developing all week. Right now the second half of January looks like it could be quite cold and snowy. Stay tuned. BA