One of the long range forecast drivers with respect to determining the wintry pattern in the United States is the North Atlantic Oscillation.
Very simply it is the fluctuations of a low pressure cell near Iceland and an area of high pressure near the Azores.
Through variations in the strength of the Icelandic low and the Azores high, the paths of storms in the region are determined.
That in turn gives forecasters clues to the wintry pattern around the world.
This video explains how the high and the low over the Atlantic Ocean impact the Virginia winter.
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