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February 8, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Pacific Storms and El Niño: Coast to Coast

Strong storms keep rolling in off the Pacific, moving eastward under strong jet stream winds. With plenty of El Niño moisture and strength as they move across the West and the Southwest, they then tap into the Gulf of Mexico for replenishing moisture and strength. Finally, as they move east of the Appalachian Mountains they tap into the Atlantic’s warm Gulfstream current (plenty of relatively warm, moisture-laden winds on top of cold, dry air = big snow). The combination of these moisture sources allows a strong Pacific storm to stay strong across the entire United States.

Here’s what the next few days look like:

Above images courtesy ImpactWeather’s StormWatch.

Current snow depth:

Above image courtesy of NOAA.


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