Here comes the cold (1/14/13)

<B>(Monday, 1/14/13)</B> After a relatively mild beginning of the month, it appears as though the wheels are in motion for the weather to turn much colder around here.
The pieces are coming together for what looks to be a cold end of January.  Without getting too technical, the reservoir of very cold air at the North Pole, the polar vortex, has been shredded apart.  One piece is headed toward Asia, while another piece is headed for the USA.  Or at the very least SE Canada, providing us with a fresh supply of cold air.

This is still a week out, but I wanted to get a heads up out to you.  It’s WAY too early to get into specifics just yet...in terms of how cold and how much snow.  This type of pattern would support persistent cold, bouts of lake effect snow, and clipper type (weak) storms dropping in from the north and west.  Initially, the chances for a significant east coast snowstorm would be diminished.  Those chances could increase as we get out of the cold pattern...whenever that is.

I’ve included a jet stream map of the northern hemisphere, valid next Wednesday night.  The important parts to pick out are the pieces of the polar vortex and the green shading over Alaska, indicative of a ridge in the jet stream there.  That is something that we haven’t had much of this winter...part of the reason that they’ve been so cold there.  If indeed this ends up verifying, then arctic air from the polar region would be allowed to slip southward into the northern US.  I have to be honest with you, the gradient between cool and brutally cold is pretty tight, so it will be important how far south the vortex is located.  It would mean the difference between being firmly locked into an arctic airmass here in CNY or getting glancing blows.  I just don’t know that yet.

Here is the 8-14 day forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, clearly showing our temperatures to average out below normal through the 28th of this month.

It’s interesting to see the forecast from one of the climate models for the month of February.  It is adamant about warmer than normal temperatures in Alaska and colder than normal for the eastern and northeastern US.  We’ll have to see how this plays out.
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