COLD!

It’s on the way. Very cold temperatures will be spilling out of the arctic regions of Alaska and Canada, across the north central U.S. to the eastern seaboard.

The morning low temperature at International Falls, MN was -40. At 1:00pm (EST) the following temperatures were reported:

  • Ft. Yukon, AK   -35
  • Yellowknife, NWT   -37
  • Winnipeg, MAN   -28
  • Thunder Bay, ONT   -25
  • Iqualuit, Nunavut (north of Hudson Bay)   -28

Locally, we could see temperatures running 15-20 degrees below the seasonal averages for highs and lows by the end of the week. At the moment it does not appear that any records will be threatened.

The NOAA map below shows the high altitude winds plunging out of the arctic regions to the eastern U.S. and then turning northward along the coast.

gfs_300_000m

The blue shadings highlight the strongest winds of the jet stream at that altitude.

The satellite picture below shows the weather that has developed under this pattern.

latest1

An interesting item of note is the clear skies in the central U.S. with the clearly visible band of snow on the ground from the southern tip of Lake Michigan westward into Iowa and Minnesota. This snow was the result of the latest “Alberta Clipper” that is now moving across the eastern Great Lakes. Today, the Mid Atlantic region is sandwiched between the “clipper” and a storm developing over the coastal waters of the Atlantic. A few rain showers may fall east of the Bay and some sprinkles or flurries are possible in southern Pennsylvania.

There is some interest in the longer term forecast. The Ravens play Sunday evening in Pittsburgh. A “clipper” will be moving across the region Sunday and pulling away in the evening. It will be cold and it appears that snow showers or flurries are possible at game time. Temperatures during the game will likely be in the mid-upper 20s based on the latest computer models. A NOAA computer model forecast map below shows the situation Sunday evening.

gfs_pcp_132m

Then, of course, there is the Inauguration in Washington on Tuesday. It appears it will be cold that day with temperatures hovering around freezing.

gfs_pcp_174m

Based on one of the NOAA computer model forecast maps for Tuesday a “clipper” will have just moved east of the area. This forecast map would indicate that some clouds and maybe some flurries are possible but generally dry weather is likely. A second “wave” rotating around the low pressure center in upstate New York would have to be watched for any additional development.

A caveat has to apply to the outlooks above for Sunday and Tuesday. These events are five and seven days out respectively and any firm conclusions on weather conditions this far in advance are risky. The computer models are quite good at displaying the general situation in the atmosphere at a given time but, at greater time spans, location, timing and intensity of specific weather features is highly suspect and subject to considerable fine tuning. How is that for a disclaimer?

Anyway, we’ll be tracking the weather for these events. As they say, “stay tuned”.

John Collins

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