Winter in the northeast can be unpredictable to begin with, and any given week there could be a chance for snow. That's just life. But now a change in the winter weather patterns might bring some big time snow events to our area in the coming weeks, according to meteorologists. If you were hoping for another relatively snow free winter like last year, then this may not come as good news.

It all has to do with what's going on thousands of miles away near the Arctic Circle. You've probably heard of the Polar Vortex. This is a huge factor when it comes to winter weather patterns. A split in the vortex could bring much colder air and the chance for snow into the lower 48 states, and the east coast could feel the brunt of the impact.

Forecasters at AccuWeather say bitter Arctic cold air and waves of snow storms could arrive in the area by later in the month. While we did see several inches of snow late Sunday, temperatures across the Hudson Valley have actually been slightly above average for this time of year. A shift in the jet stream could end that as we head towards the third week or so of January.

Of course, the common response may be, "Well, it's New York and we're in winter! What do you expect?" . This is a long range forecast which can be accurate or maybe not. There are many other factors that could determine how much snow we may get. For example, the amount of snow on the ground has a lot to do with it. If you get the first storm and it's a big snow producer, all that snow stays on the ground longer. More snow means more of the Sun's light is reflected, which could mean even colder weather at night. The snowpack melts much slower, which could then start the cycle that last for weeks.

Once again, we know the weather forecasts aren't always right, so this could go either way. Some long range forecasts had initially called for a milder winter and near normal snowfall in the Hudson Valley. We will just have to wait and see.

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