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Stormy Pacific Pattern Continues

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 20:41:53-05

Stronger, persistent low pressure over the Pacific has left much of the western United States dry and mild so far this winter. The jet stream sometimes acts like a see-saw. With the jet stream dipping in the Pacific where all of the low pressures persist, conversely the jet stream lifts over the eastern Pacific and western US. This allows more persistent high pressure that limits stormy and cold weather. We have been stuck in this pattern since late November, and it should continue for at least a couple more weeks. Wednesday will be a mild day with partly to mostly cloudy skies. Southwest wind will gust up to 30mph across northern Montana. Wednesday night, a low pressure will move into the state spreading light snow. Thursday will start out cloudy with areas of light snow, and the storm will clear through the afternoon and evening. Snow accumulation will be 1-2" at best across the lower elevations. Most areas will just see a light coating. The mountains could see up to 3-4". Not a lot of snow, but this is notable in a low snow year (so far). High pressure will redevelop for Friday and the weekend with partly cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures for January. Southwest wind across the plains will increase through the weekend. As long as this pattern continues, significant snow and arctic air remain unlikely.
Have a great day!
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist