Shooting For Records

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An abundant amount of sunshine continues to to keep highs well above average, well that and a nice breeze also helping to keep the atmosphere mixed up rather nicely for this time of the year…aloft milder to warm air continues to develop and stream through the Plains states and this will continue for the next several days with an occasional hiccup in the form of a couple of cold fronts that will send temperatures on a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

One cold front will move in later Thursday and have a pacific airmass trailing it. This will send highs from the 60s to the 50° area on Friday…another front will move through with a combo pf Pacific and Canadian air later Saturday, this will again send highs from the 60s to the 40° range on Sunday. This will be reenforced by some colder Canadian air as we head into Monday. so we do have a reality check on the way.

My initial call that I backed off from Tuesday afternoon was the correct one. I ended up putting too much faith in the GFS ideal of not delivering enough cold air into areas from the Midwest eastwards. While the EURO/Canadian idea will work out somewhat better, for at least Monday into TUE AM, it was too amplified (strong) with a developing trof for the eastern part of the country and perhaps too far west with it. So in reality, like my first thought yesterday (I should’ve stuck to my guns) it will end up in between. What this means for us is that we’ll have a jolt of reality for chillier air, and wind(!) into Sunday. We’ll be cold (30s) on Monday, then start to recover on Tuesday. Assuming this airmass can move along, we should be near 40° on Tuesday with another shot of 50°+ by Wednesday of next week.

Now let’s talk records…the record high tomorrow is 68° set back in 1947. That record will be safe. The day that I’ve thought would have the opportunity for getting close to record levels was Saturday. The record high then is 66° set back in 1951. It’s somewhat doable. Interesting last Dec 30th, we saw highs int he upper 60s to near 70. As a matter of fact we set a new record high temperature @ KCI with 68°, so it can be done if things work out. I just looked at the 850mb map for the 30th of DEC…interesting as we were in a very warm airmass with temperatures at that level near 50° with an Arctic airmass knocking on the back door step as temperatures at that level dropped to -4° @ 5K or so up in MT…that cold air was barreling towards us. You may remember that front hit us late @ night on the 30th, we then saw plunging temperatures and nasty wind chills with a little freezing rain/ice pellet action on the 31st…not a pleasant NY Eve….

That was last year…this year will be dry but again turming colder as Saturday late night and Sunday Early AM move along.

Last night I spent a bit of time talking about the significant difference between the Midwest snowcover last year and this year…for example last year, on the 27th, 74% of the midwest was covered in snow of various depths. This year only 1%(!) had snowcover. Today (the 28th) the contrast is 72% to 11%. pretty dramatic. For the northern Plains states we’re looking at 81% last year and 11% this year. so when these Canadian/Arctic airmasses, like for example last year’s NY Eve airmass comes into the area, it is flowing over existing deep snowcover chilling it even more. This year, there is no snow, right now at least, for the airmass to get colder. As a result it moderates and isn’t as cold as it could be IF there was snow on the ground. Here is a look at the current snowcover across the country.

Another huge contrast is what is going on through the Sierras. Look at the huge difference between last year and this year…1st last year…

Now this year…

Both Monday and Tuesday South Lake Tahoe hit 56° for a record high. Right now they’re reporting 58°…wow! They’re record today was 53°. Consider that record shattered.

By the way, there are some real seeds of change showing up for the middle part of the month or so, after the 10th, that will send you running for your winter coats and perhaps a few other things. Here is a look at the day 16(!) GFS model…

That is REAL cold High Pressure building down through Western Canada into the Midwest…here is a look at the temperatures @ 5K feet…

Those numbers are in °C. So for that -30C air in N MT…that would equal -22F @ 5K feet…probably close to -30 to -50° air at the surface. The rubber band will snap, the other shoe will drop…it’s all just a matter of time.

Joe

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