Joe’s Weather Blog: Arctic Blast 3 Days Away (FRI-11/7)

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Good morning…by now you’ve heard of the impressive shot of Arctic air heading this way…it will be sustained and not pleasant to be outside for any major length of time. Temperatures will be running some 20°+ degrees below average for almost 1 straight week. Monday will be the last day that it will be “mild” for awhile…although once this runs it course…it may take till Thanksgiving week though…we should moderate for a few days I think.


Rest of today: In and out clouds with temperatures running close to about 60° this afternoon. Winds will pick up from the SW at 10-25 MPH during the day.

Tonight: Another clipper will pass through the region switching the winds towards the NW in the wee hours of the morning. Chilly weather will again move into the area with lows in the 30s. NW winds will increase to 15-25 MPH. Some clouds will move into the area near daybreak.

Saturday: Partly cloudy in the AM then turning sunny and somewhat cooler with highs in the 50s.

Sunday: Breezy and milder with highs back to near 60°+ on SW winds of 15-25 MPH.


I guess some in the media and the TV world are hyping this upcoming cold next week as something that is rare and unusual. Let’s start there.

It’s not.

I saw this tweet last night and I thought it was perfect for the (usual network and some web site hype) about what was upcoming…

All you have to do is go back 1 whole whooping year and see the same type of strong high pressure building through the Plains and delivering a pretty cold shot of air into the mid-section of the country.

What is a bit unusual is the reasons behind the cold and also the length it will hang around (to a certain extent).

I’ve written since last weekend about the whys and whens of this arctic air shot heading this way. We’ll talk about it a bit more today…but I was tipped off about this post from the NWS in Chicago this morning and thought I’d copy it for you to get another perspective about what’s going on.

“Former Super Typhoon Nuri To Play Role In Our Weather Next Week, But Probably Not In Way You’d Think

A fascinating and somewhat unusual evolution to the weather pattern over the north western hemisphere is forecast to take place over the next week, potentially resulting in unseasonably strong and possibly long lasting early season blast of arctic air into the region next week.

The remnants of  Super Typhoon Nuri, which earlier in the week has maximum sustained winds near 180 mph, is moving northward passing east of Japan. Meanwhile, a “Rex block” over Alaska is slowing the progression of weather systems in the high latitudes. Locally, gusty northwest winds are ushering seasonably cold air into our region late this week.
Heading into the weekend, the remnants of Nuri are forecast to move into the Bering Sea and explosively intensify into an extremely powerful and potentially dangerous storm system. This powerful storm system will help break down the Rex block over Alaska and send an upper level ridge of high pressure and a warmer than average air mass north toward the polar regions. The warmer air surging north toward the North Pole will actually dislodge arctic air over the polar regions and sending it surging southward into Canada.

Current indications are that by Tuesday next week, the heart of this polar air mass will have arrived in the Chicago area. As the arctic air mass arrives next week, an Omega block (named such because it is shaped like the Greek letter Omega) is forecast to develop along the western North American coast. This block would result in little change in the pattern for at least several days, potentially leaving our region in the icy grips of an early season cold snap through at least the remainder of next week. Current indications are that high temperatures will only climb into the 30s while nighttime lows dip into the teens and 20s.
Some medium range models do spin up a storm system on the leading edge of the approaching arctic air mass early next week. If this system develops, it could produce a swath of accumulating snow north of the surface low track. There are far too many uncertainties to say if this storm will develop, and if it develops who it could impact, but it does bear watching next week.”
end text
It’s a good write up…and gets into why the cold weather will last longer than is typical (to a certain extent).
As far as the remains of Nuri go that will set off this reaction in the atmosphere…I really don’t have a great satellite perspective of it yet for you…although as the storm explosively intensifies into the weekend…I should get some better views on the blog. In the view below…it’s NOT the storm in the center…it’s the mass of clouds on the left side.
There are some buoys out there that should respond to the changes taking place, although I’m not sure IF anyone report will truly characterize the intensity of the storm due to proximity. This buoy location is NNE of Attu Island in the Aleutians and shows the air pressure.


Here is the latest surface map out there…note two storms…one on the right side near the Island chain…and the soon to be noteworthy storm on the left side. as of this morning it’s pressure was 977 mbs or 28.85″. IF you look carefully the buoy report that I have above is located where the # 46070 is. Click on the map to make it larger…this FRI evening the pressure was down to 944 mbs or 27.87″. Earlier this afternoon Shemya, AK reported wind gusts to 97 MPH!



So this is what is going to set things into motion over the next 5 days…

Once the cold weather moves in…we will be locked int he cold for about 1 week or so…with very little modification to the airmass. That means a prolonged period of highs in the 30s, with perhaps a day or two where we can nudge below 45°. Overall though the pattern is a cold one and one that in the winter, with deeper and more expansive snowcover through the Plains and N Plains…would create large areas of 20-40° temperatures below zero to the north of KC give the right conditions.

So we have that going for us at least.

One issue that will prevent many of the nighttime lows from tanking (but not all) will be cloud cover…signs continue to point to a lot of mid level moisture streaming through the area…keeping lows from free falling. We may have several mornings where the lows are in the 25° range and highs are near 30-35° because of clouds…or thereabouts.

Clouds during the day keep temperatures cold, but at night act like a blanket keeping temperatures from free-falling.

OK so let’s recap next week:

Monday will still be mild with temperatures in the 60s…we’ll be warmer only if the front comes through at night…it appears right now though the front will move in in the afternoon. IF it slows down about 6 hours, which isn’t out of the question…we could pop into the 70s, especially SE of the metro with enough sunshine.

Monday night: Front blows through (if it hasn’t already in the afternoon) and the temperature droop accelerates. NW/N winds are going at 20-30 MPH.

Tuesday: Blustery and cold with a slight chance of some snow flurries. Temperatures drop to 25-30° in the morning…we should get some sun though on Tuesday allowing somewhat of a rebound in temperatures into the 35-40° range.

Wednesday: The cold air aloft will deepen (get colder) as a result we’ll struggle to 35° for highs.

Thursday-Sunday (16th): Staying cold through the period with well below average temperatures

Get the firewood ready and IF you need to do any furnace maintenance get it done sooner rather than later.




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1 Comment

  • Amae

    Joe, there is no reply box for today’s blog (Sat 11-8) so I will post here.
    I copied and am pasting a comment from “another” local source, and wonder what your take on it is….

    “There have been ridiculous reports out there stating that this cold outbreak is being caused by Nuri. All I can say is that is not the case at all! This pattern would be developing now whether Nuri existed or not! “

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