The Cold Air Ooze

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Probably sounds like something you need some medication for right? Well our weather is in the process of changing and it looks like, at this point, most of those changes mean a return to real winter around here, after a decent day today with highs well into the 40s.

What’s fascinating about this AM is that there is a lot of warm air just above the ground. IF you were to go in about a 150-200 story building and go all the way up to the top of said building, the temperature up there would be clod to 50° or so! It’s interesting to see the balloon sounding this morning that was launched out in Topeka. Take a look!


Notice how the thin RED line (which is the temperature as the balloon goes up in °C by the way) goes from the lower left to the right. That shows that as the balloon went up through the air, it actually got warmer. This is pretty common on chilly winter nights (or at least the strength of the inversion. By the way when the temperature goes up with height, we call that an inversion.

When the RED line then makes a “left turn” if you will, that means that the air is getting colder again. At that point the top of the inversion has been reached. If you look carefully at that point the air is roughly 11-12°C or about 53°F. That level is roughly at 950 mbs or about 1500 feet or so! Pretty cool.

Why won’t we be that warm today, or warmer? Well there won’t be enough wind to “mix” that air down to the ground. That plus lingering snow cover will keep highs in the 40s I think.

Finally the cold air. This AM as the cold air in Canada starts oozing south we’ll see colder and colder conditions here. Here is a look at the GFS model forecast for early next week. You can clearly see the cold air moving into the Plains states.

There will be a storm to the south of here it appears heading towards Christmas day/night. That storm may create a few flurries here, but it certainly will usher in the cold air that should stay with us for the next 7+ days. So it looks like the end of the month will be a lot colder that how most of the month has gone. By the way, through yesterday our average monthly temperature is 8.7° above average! That is a very impressive number with about 1 week to go in the month. It will come down sharply over the next 7 days.

At this point I’m not expecting much in the way of snow out of the system early next week. There will be another one later in the week that will need to be monitored and that one will tug down more cold air for next weekend.

This will probably be the last day I hold the White Christmas chance as is. Tomorrow I’ll be dropping it I’m sure.

white xmas


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