While the pattern's been decidedly more wintry of late, we've yet to receive any truly punishing blows from Mother Nature. Two storm systems over the past two weeks have padded the area's seasonal snowfall totals some, but a high-impact event has eluded us, at least to this point.
Another winter storm has its sights set on the Stateline later this week, though, similar to the two previous systems, considerable uncertainty exists with regard to the storm's impacts here.
The storm, likely to arrive here either late Wednesday or, more likely, Wednesday Night, has yet to come ashore in the Pacific Northwest. It won't be until that occurs that our models will have a better grip on the storm's eventual evolution.
We can say, with a good deal of confidence, that this storm's likely to be a longer-lasting one than either of its recent predecessors. It's possible that the Stateline will be affected by this storm during parts of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Clouding the picture, though, is the notion that temperatures yet again are to be right around the freezing mark for most of the storm's lifespan here. As a result, there may be multiple precipitation types in play.
As we see things now, the precipitation's nearly certain to begin as snow Wednesday or Wednesday Night, and will continue to fall mainly as snow through much of Thursday and Thursday Night. It won't snow this entire time. Plenty of breaks in the action are promised. That said, any snow that does fall during that time may be enough to shovel. Temperatures aloft warm a bit more on Friday, which could spell a period of freezing rain or rain here. Should the storm take a track a bit farther south, that wintry mix would likely not occur, and snow would remain our main form of precipitation. A track farther north would suggest a longer period of rain or freezing rain. We'll keep a very close eye on the track of the storm in the coming days.
For those who aren't a fan of winter, and are looking for reasons for optimism, there are a few things worth looking forward to. On Thursday, our normal high temperature rises from 29° to 30°, which means, historically speaking, the coldest part of winter will be behind us. One day later, on Friday, the sun will set at 5:00pm or later for the first time since early November, a sign that days are lengthening at a more rapid rate. Lastly, there's a pattern shift set to occur. Arctic air's to retreat as this week goes on, and shows no sign of returning here through at least the first week of February.