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So things are pretty quiet out there now…it’s cold…but quiet…and the weather while mundane now…but good for traveling…may get a bit more interesting next week as we watch developing arctic air ooze southwards.

By no means though is the timing on all this going to be figured out over the next few days…basically we know it’s going to be sub-zero (perhaps substantially so) in the northern Plains and the northern Rockies. We know it’s going to be in the 80s to near 90° next week in parts of Texas…what happens though in between is the unknown at this point.

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Forecast:

Today: Sunny and breezy. A chilly feel in the afternoon despite highs approaching the lower 50s

Tonight: Fair and not as cold. Windy conditions developing with lows in the mid to upper 30s

Thursday: Fair skies…breezy and milder with highs 55-60°

Friday: Potentially a record warm day. Mid to upper 60s. The only issue is do we have too many clouds filtering out the sunshine

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Discussion:

Next week is going to be one of those weeks I think…trying to figure out how close the arctic air gets to the I-70 corridor. It will be a tough week for forecasting from day to day…and the forecasts are likely to change quite a bit from day to day…especially as we finish 2021.

You can see recipes for nothing…snow…ice…rain…you pick really.

So let’s get into things…

  1. The dryness. Yeah…as I mentioned on Monday on the blog…it’s becoming a bit of a thing. We’re sort of into the driest time of the year now…for about the next month…but since the last decent rain, back on the 10th of November…we’ve had .28″ of moisture. That is unusual. How so…this is the 3rd driest in the specific time span…from the 11th through today.

So yeah…we need some moisture. Not much is expected…although there are some days we need to watch, including potentially Sunday.

2) The warmth. Crazy for December. Through yesterday this is the 9th warmest start to December. Our average temperature so far this month is around 43°. We’re now 3 weeks into the month. Regardless of what happens…this will go down as one of the milder Decembers in our books. Likely Top 15 in the end I think. Friday will be the warmest…the record…originally set back in 1893 (one of the older ones) is 66°. It certainly can happen…heck it almost happened 2 years ago…we hit 65°!

So I wanted to look at the data from 2019…and compare that to Friday. Essentially it’s almost a carbon copy. there were lots of cirrus clouds filtering out the sun…that will again be an issue on Friday. The temperatures aloft were about the same as what I think will happen on Friday. So for now my forecast, based on perhaps a bit more wind this time compared to 2019 is 66°…but really it could be anywhere from 65-70° unless the clouds are too thick. Still though…just crazy. There is a chance Thursday is 60°+…but the likely day is Friday. So we’ll add another to this stat.

It should be our 9th day 60° or higher.

Crazy.

3) The Holiday Weekend. It won’t be as warm on Christmas thanks to a cold front coming through overnight with Santa…temperatures will cool down and we should only in the 50-55° range on Christmas…still pretty good considering the average high is around 40°. There is a bit of downside to this…and northern MO is likely chillier. Sunday though is a tougher forecast. Some data suggests that we could have some clouds and perhaps even a bit of drizzle for a few hours as the front returns northwards as a warm front. This is possible and will be watched for impacts to the potential game on Sunday afternoon, especially for tailgating. Odds are though it will be a milder afternoon

4) The Arctic Air. Oh boy…thhis is likely a hot mess locally at some point next week…still not sure when though. This is part of an evolving pattern that promises to bring the western US some memorable weather…that may bring record cold to parts of the Pacific NW…places like Seattle…Portland…then down from there into CA. It will likely bring almost 5-8 FEET of snow to parts of the Sierra Nevada…and that is after this…the next few days!

That’s multiple feet before Christmas…

Then IF you want to take it farther out…via the GFS…

Through New Years Eve

This is actually longer term…great news for the Mountains out there…and the reservoirs down the road. That’s just snow though…look at the overall picture for moisture.

Widespread flooding is likely with this towards the coastal areas…and burn scar flooding may be pretty bad as well to finish 2021.

5) Why? There is a mess happening now in the Pacific Ocean…from the eastern Pacific towards CA to the NE Pacific towards AK as well.

This is connected to multiple storms…

The trick is what to do with all this…because the upper level pattern out there will have consequences to what happens here. It’s a mess of systems interacting with each other and this affects the model accuracy. All these interactions leads to big errors in model forecasts and low confidence in the playout 5-10 days down the road. You see those “U” shaped movements? Those are trofs moving around and interacting with each other. The reason why this is dangerous for us is IF…a biggie…that main U shaped trof is closer to the Plains…then arctic air can ooze in at the surface ahead of it. That leads to all sorts of winter headaches around here because aloft the air may remain near or above 32°. We don’t like those set-ups…

IF that thing stays farther west…then the arctic air can’t bleed as far south…and that means we remain is a seasonable to milder flow of air.

Why is this tough…well look at the forecast highs off the EURO model for next Wednesday…a week from today.

That’s a 110° rough spread from the mid 80s in TX to near -30° FOR HIGHS in MT. Where does the leading edge of this air mass set up and ooze southwards? Any other winter…it has to come through the region…at this point I’d be surprised IF it didn’t. This would be mid to late NEXT week. The only way it doesn’t though is IF the upper level mess is too far west…effectively keeping the arctic air closer to the Dakotas. That would be really unusual for the winter season in the Plains. Arctic air almost always wins the battle in the winter season around the Plains.

6) Be prepared for MUCH colder air near the New Year. Considering where we’ve been this month…it may well be a rude slap in the face too. Also of note…usually these things just don’t blow through either…typically there is some sort of system with a mess of wintry precipitation with it to help usher in the arctic air mass.

So a lot to digest on a Wednesday!

The feature photo comes from Charley Caron down in Anderson County from yesterday.

Joe