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Winter outlook 2005 - 01.15.05


A brief survey of the main climate patterns for the upcoming winter.

January 2005 should see an enhanced storm pattern for the West Coast with, most likely, a split jet across the coast as Mercury, Venus and Mars make a tandem approach from the west. At midmonth a nodal shift should stimulate the 72° eclipse zone towards low-pressure bringing storms into the Midwest. With the exception of the southern High Plains the third week should be stormy mostly everywhere else. Look for a nor'easter pattern on the East Coast near to the last week of the month, as a high should arise off of the coast as the lunar node on the eastern eclipse pair shifts the western Atlantic to high-pressure on the 25th. In general the pattern for the end of the month should resemble a mature el nino event with rains along the southern states dominating the continental regime.However, a strong chance of very cold air into the Midwest in late January is still part of the pattern.

Early February should start off with a bang for the East Coast. Look for a nor'easter to move up the coast from the 4th to the 7th. An Alberta Clipper should parallel this storm by moving along the northern tier from the 3rd to the 5th. Jupiter moving near to the western eclipse pair, supported by Mars transiting the coast at this time, should bring the storm jet down on the West Coast in the second week. A weak ridge at mid continent stimulated by the node moving near the eastern eclipse pair should bring rain and snow to the East Coast near midmonth and stormy weather to the PNW. This pattern should continue until the end of the third week of February. Look for a moderate- to- strong storm in the PNW and the eastern third of the country at that time. At month's end, Jupiter influencing the western eclipse pair and the node influencing the eastern eclipse pair both shift moving the storm center on the continent more northward in the Great Basin. More moderate storm energies should arise across the whole country with weaker fronts and milder temperatures.

In early March Mars is approaching the 72° eclipse zone. This kind of approach is often linked with rapidly fluctuating weather patterns. Highly variable and mobile weather should prevail until the 12th when Mars actually crosses the 90° point to the eclipse. Look for high latitude response to this in the area west of Hudson Bay. Normally there would be a strong polar breakout from this area as the planet crosses the 90° eclipse point at 26°Saggittarius. This point is 90° to the eclipse point at 26° Virgo over the mid Pacific. Watch for the jet stream to drop to the south on the West Coast and then transit across the mid latitudes of the continent. In the last two weeks of March the lunar node influences the eastern pair of eclipse points to high pressure values. The 72° eclipse zone over the Great Basin should respond with a surge in high pressure up into Alaska. The block should stay relatively stable for most of two weeks. This pattern should drop the temperatures in the Midwest considerably. Look for a storm track that moves from Minnesota through Ohio and then into the mid Atlantic seaboard. A blocking pattern from the nodal influence over the eastern Atlantic should put a strong high- pressure block in the Maritime Provinces. This is the well- known Greenland block. In this pattern a trough forms over the East Coast that brings cold down into the mid Atlantic seaboard As it often happens warm storms transiting from Oklahoma swing around the southern slopes of the Appalachians and curve north blocked by the high off of the coast. The circulation for the storm curves out over the moist Atlantic and picks up water that is deposited into the Northeast states as slush or freezing rain. This nor'easter pattern is ripe for unfolding from mid March to late March 2005.