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Joe’s Weather Blog: arctic cold air will dominate next week (FRI-12/30)

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Good morning…mostly clear and crisp out there today with some jet contrails to start our Friday. Winds were under 10 MPH last night…and despite being from the south…temperatures still dropped to 20-25°. Our average low is around 20° during this time of the year so overall it was a seasonable morning. Our average high is just shy of 40° but we’re going to blow by that before the middle of the afternoon.

Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny with increasing south winds developing. Gusts to 25 MPH are possible and highs will respond to 50-55°

Tonight: South winds will keep temperatures from bottoming out tonight. Lows should drop to around 30° ahead of a cold front moving towards the area.

Saturday: The cold front will move through in the morning…temperatures should struggle more during the day with highs around 40°

Sunday: Increasing clouds and milder again with highs well into the 40s

Discussion:

A few things to touch on before I dive into the nasty cold air for next week (after Monday). 1) temperatures on Monday potentially can approach 60° if the developing surface low comes far enough northwards. Dew points map pop to near 50° very quickly by or before lunch on Monday so this will force the temperatures upwards overnight Sunday into Monday morning.  So while that run towards 60° might be more of a KC and southwards situation…IF that surface low comes this far north…it can happen in the afternoon.

Should this occur…their will be a decent chance of at least some rain (mostly under 1/3″) developing on Monday as well.

2) Behind the surface storm, NW winds will start to usher in the colder air…so temperatures may well fall during the day on Tuesday. The high will likely come at 12AM Tuesday morning and we should be well down in the 20s by later Tuesday afternoon with a biting wind chill to boot.

3) The cold weather will move in and stick around probably into next weekend…although there will be some modification of the coldest air.

4) A lot are wondering about the snow situation…which right now doesn’t look so great…although there are some model suggestions that we could get some accumulating snow in the next 7-10 days. The EURO ensembles have about a 1-3″ potential…whatever.

5) This cold air will eventually dislodge and/or modify later next weekend. There should be several milder days afterwards…BUT the cold air never leaves SW Canada…as a result we will be vulnerable to dives into the colder air again even as the milder air from the south fights it’s way northwards. The cold air has always come down when it takes up residence in SW Canada so far this season…and it’s still there through mid month at least.

6) How cold will it get? Well right now it appears we’ll have an initial dip into the cold air on Tuesday into Wednesday…then another burst into colder air later Wednesday into Saturday AM. The 2nd burst should be the motherlode of cold for us and will send lows down to near 0° I think…perhaps sub-zero in spots. Snow cover will help things go even lower…but there is no guarantee that snow will be on the ground.

7) It’s possible that this air mass coming in might be colder (a few thousand feet above the ground) than the air mass earlier this month. Heck the EURO model has our 4000′ temperatures around -24°C (-11°F) for next Friday. That’s 6°C (about 11°F) colder than the coldest part of the last air mass locally (at that level)…snow cover played a HUGE role in the -8 to -18° tanking on the morning of the 18th…and even IF the air mass isn’t that brutal it will be comparable in strength…so I still feel lows near 0° (with sub-zero potential exists). The wild card aside from the snow cover questions are clouds…and there may be an issue with that…clouds, despite a brutally cold air mass, are known temperature “busters” so I’m not going to get too carried away with going too far on the low side from 1 week away but there is a lot on the table and it will be the reason why temperature forecast lows will bounce around later next week I think. Clouds are the enemy of extreme low temperatures with or without snow-cover around these parts.

8) Cleaning off the desk…I have some tidbits for you…

This next one is interesting for snow lovers…it shows that typically we get more than 1/2 our winter snows…after 1/11 (so there’s still hope!)

On the flip side…it’s been a warm year in the US!

Our feature photo comes from Art White from Pleasant Hill, MO…this was from last Saturday the day the fog/low clouds wouldn’t clear out of the region.

Joe

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