From OHwx over at Amwx. One of the few who will take time to prepare a lengthy analysis like Tom does for us here in this forum/sub. He normally focuses on OH peeps, but this kinda applies to all of us
"It's definitely early still and I definitely may be wrong...though I'm pretty impressed with how things are lining up for cold delivery into our region in February. To elaborate a bit...
The big anti-cyclonic wave break in the North Pacific later this week closes off as a block and moves towards the pole, tanking the AO and dislodging a lot of cold from Siberia into Canada next week. Then, as the initial ridge builds on or just off the west coast around the turn of the month the cold of Canada comes south. With the MJO potentially moving through phases 8-1 during the first half or so of February and likely return of the NE Asian/NW Pac PV lobe that has caused some EPO drops so far this winter, think the ridge maintains on the West Coast and likely builds back north into AK during the first week of February, possibly causing another significant shot of Arctic air into the central/eastern US during the second week of February. Thereafter, I don't see any signs the pattern flips to warm anytime soon, so even if the last 10 days of February feature some moderation I think the month as a whole finishes quite cold overall.
There is, FWIW, decent model support for this type of solution. The CFS and Euro weeklies have for quite a while had tall and persistent ridging over the west coast into AK for a good chunk of February...I think the Euro weeklies 2m temp forecasts are much too warm given its 500mb forecast. It's not a great idea to put a ton of stock in those long range models, but their general agreement and persistence in showing a -EPO February has been impressive IMO. Other techniques that I sometimes question, but seem to have some utility in highlighting bigger events, such as the Recurring Rosby Wavetrain technique and to some extent the Bering Sea Rule suggest a potential big cold shot by around the middle of February...though I think it arrives sooner as the pattern evolution starting next week appears to support the first of the cold arriving pretty promptly to start February. The GFS, Euro, and Canadian ensembles keep trending colder at the end of their runs as the first shot of arctic air moves south.
As for bigger snow potential, will have to watch the initial transition period during the first few days of February. I also think there may be a brief relax and then reload the second week of the month, with some hints that some STJ energy may slip under the western ridge in that timeframe as well. If cold isn't too suppressive in that timeframe something may work out...I think the pattern may support southern portions of the sub (the Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes) more than northern portions around then.
I suppose calling for a potential top 10 cold February in parts of the region is a bold/seemingly hype call, and I'll freely admit there's time for this to fall apart, but I see a lot supporting significant cold that lasts a good chunk of the month, with little opportunity for big warmth to wipe it out before the month is over. I obviously doubt we top or even come too close to February of 2015 just because of how extreme it was, though there are some similarities in the pattern and a somewhat tamer version isn't too unreasonable IMO"
Winter 2017-18 Snow Total = 63.1" Oct: 0.0 Nov: 0.0 Dec: 24.2 Jan: 14.5 Feb: 19.7 Mar: 4.7 Apr: 0.0 (annual avg for mby = ~49.9", avg for last 10 seasons = 67.4" ) 135% of normal-what a stretch it's been!!
Winter 2016-17 Snow Total = 52"
Winter 2015-16 Snow Total = 57.4"
Winter 2014-15 Snow Total = 55.3"
Winter 2013-14 Snow Total = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)
Winter 2012-13 Snow Total = 47.2"
Winter 2011-12 Snow Total = 43.7"
Notable Blizzards/Snowstorms in SWMI: Nov 2015, Feb 2015, Jan 2014, Feb 2011, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Jan 1982, Jan 1979, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, March 1973, Jan 1967, March 1947, Jan 1918
"Long range winter forecasting - it's like tossing darts in a hurricane.." "In my day, they didn't name 'em, they just called 'em blizzards! *Shakes fist in air and ambles away mumbling to himself" “and to think kids nowadays get day's off school because the wind blew. I think in '78 we only got 1 day off” "..It's the U.P. where there are two seasons. Winter, and three months of bad skiing.."