The mid-Atlantic is in for more frequent than normal snow days this winter thanks to a dual jet stream pattern, according to AccuWeather.com's updated seasonal outlook released Wednesday.
Meteorologists are already seeing evidence of two strong jet stream patterns, one bringing cold air from the north and another bringing moisture from the south. When the two converge over our region, that means snow, said Paul Pastelok, a senior meteorologist who heads AccuWeather's long range forecasting.
Pastelok said forecasters expect the northern jet stream to weaken some as winter gets going, bringing some mild weather in November and December. But it should strengthen again for January and February, bringing a few major snow events, according to the forecast.
There could also be more blocking that pushes snowy systems through our area, Pastelok said. Blocking occurs when high pressure systems settle over Greenland and northern Canada, pushing low pressure systems south.
Any bit of snow would be an improvement over winter 2011-2012, which saw 1.8 inches fall at BWI Marshall Airport. There is normally nearly 20 inches of snow in a normal winter in these parts.
Above-normal snowfall is expected across a stretch from Alabama to New York, according to AccuWeather's forecast.
An earlier AccuWeather winter outlook released in August called for a similar weather pattern.