Snow lovers craving the first flaky action of the season should keep their eyes on a disturbance forecast by the long-range models. Dubbed a "Manitoba Mauler" due to its province of origin, this disturbance is likely to take a steep southeastward dive and could pivot through the region next Tuesday. With very cold air in place (note the dip in the jet stream, drawn into the image to the right with the thick black line), this energetic wave in the atmosphere could spin up a few snow showers or flurries. The "x" in the image is a vorticity (a measure of spin) maximum which, as we discussed a couple weeks ago, is a good thing if you want precipitation.
Will there will be any accumulation?
It's way too soon to make that call (the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball remains in hibernation), but odds are pretty low and there may not even be a flake. Frankly, it's probably premature to even be talking about this disturbance -- whose track and timing are uncertain and could change dramatically. But speculating about whether this flurry will materialize is roughly equivalent to speculating whether the Redskins will make the playoffs this year (in terms of certainty) and just as critical for the snow-obsessed -- no small number.