Joe’s Weather Blog: Cold>Arctic Cold (for KC)>?

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Good afternoon…temperatures are struggling today to warm up as colder air is filtering into the area and the clouds are slow to move away. We should see more sunshine during the afternoon especially from the KC area and N/W/NW.

Forecast:

Tonight: Clearing skies and colder. Lows down into the upper teens. This is seasonable but it’s been awhile since we’ve had temperatures. As a matter of fact this should be the coldest night since the 1st couple of days in DEC.

Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny and pleasant for late DEC. Highs near 36°

Monday: Increasing clouds and seasonable during the day. Highs in the upper 30s but turning sharply colder Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Discussion:

We’ll talk more about the next cold air shot that will be moving into the Plains states in tomorrow’s blog.

I thought today would be a good day to see where we’ve been for the past few months. It’s been a study in contrast this fall and early winter (defined by meteorological seasons).

Let’s look back to the middle of fall. In case you don’t remember we were actually cruising along rather nicely from a temperature standpoint. The following map shows the temperature anomalies from 10/1-11/10.

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 27 12.32

I chose the end date on the above image because, if you remember that was the day our temperatures flipped from fall>wintry with the big cold front (and others that came) that moved through the area.

Then we flipped the temperature pattern from 11/10-12/2 when it was unusually cold in the area.

ScreenHunter_02 Dec. 27 12.32

That’s a lot of purple on the above map, indicative of the VERY cold airmass(s) that gripped the terrain of the central and northwestern US.

We actually started to moderate a bit during the last couple of days of NOV…but were cold again for the 1st couple of days in DEC.

So from 12/3-12/26 this is the way the temperature anomalies profiled out…

ScreenHunter_03 Dec. 27 12.33

So in those defined periods we’ve gone from rather mild…to very cold…too rather mild again.

The actual month’s break down like this…

October was +1.2°…November was -6.1° and December (thru Friday) was +4.6°. You put things all together and this is what you come up with…

ScreenHunter_05 Dec. 27 12.37

Essentially from KC eastwards too Pittsburgh, PA temperatures are mostly below average. The northeast and New England as well as the areas west of KC are all above average.

I bring this up because while I have high confidence in the coming cold weather pattern…I’m not sure how long it will stick around. You can look a the maps and see that we should get repeated blasts of colder air for the next few weeks. While there may and should be a 1-2 day moderation between blasts of cold air…the trend is very chilly through early January.

But how long does it go? Both the EURO and the latest GFS all suggest this could be another rather long sustained period of arctic airmasses coming south. What’s interesting is that the air may be really cold but yet the snowcover through the terrain these airmasses will be moving over is not really that pronounced or deep. It’s there (last night there was a snowmaker through the upper midwest) but it’s not exactly thick or widespread.

 

Take off that 1st shade and probably about 1/2 the second shade as well…the analysis is typically overdone.

I want to show you the GFS surface temperatures averaged in 5 day increments…

Panel 1: Today through 6AM on the 1st

gfs_t2x_anom5_conus_1

Not terrible…because for the next 3 days temperatures here will be near average.

Now lets move from the 1st to the 6th in the new year.

gfs_t2x_anom5_conus_21

Definitely colder…and look what’s brewing across SW Canada…that should set off alarm bells…

Finally the last panel from the 6th-11th

gfs_t2x_anom5_conus_41

Gulp…that is cold! That’s nasty cold! That may very well be sub-zero cold (tough with no snowcover though in KC). Notice though the similarity between that last image and the image of the actual anomalies that I showed you earlier in the blog (11/10-12/2). There are definite parallels.

I ran into a gentleman who watches FOX 4 weather religiously last night and his daughter. He was really wanting some snow. I think I had a rather dejected look on my face when I was answering him. At this point nothing in those regards looks overly impressive. There should be a system later in the week to be watched. The problem is that the colder air that moves in later on MON will be in full retreat by either WED night or THU. I’m not sure we can count on it being around should the next system come our way as the GFS portrays. The EURO for what it’s worth…suppresses all snow potential through the next 10 days.

The experimental run of the GFS (higher resolution) is the same…with little to now important snow through 10 days (the 6th). Although it does boost the snowpack to the northwest of the region…allowing these future frigid airmasses to really stay cold as they come down the pike. Noteworthy yes but not what the snow lovers out there are looking for.

The Canadian model is sniffing out something for later in the week and the GFS has got the late week storm as a rain>snow scenario with accumulations to the snow into Saturday.

Actually that late week storm will be an interesting one to track…especially for the SW part of the country. AZ/NV and NM will have quite the weather experience. Snow may reach the mountains near Phoenix, AZ depending on how things play out on Thursday.

Our bottom line…expect a rather sustained period of below average temperatures into at least the 10-12th of January with brief moderation between cold air outbreaks. With regards to the snow situation I just don’t have enough confidence in how that plays out at his point. I can see a path to some important snow in the area during this time-span but by the same token I could also see things being overwhelmed by the extent of the cold airmasses coming down and pushing the precipitation trends too far south.

Joe

 

 

 

 

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