Friday, January 11, 2013

No winter here ... but look elsewhere

While we in the Charlotte region prepare for a weekend of 70-degree-plus temperatures and wonder whether the really cold air poised to drop southward will ever reach the Southeast, there is no lack of winter in other places.

A blizzard is taking aim at the Rockies and upper Midwest, and the northwest flow behind that storm will bring the coldest air in two years to California and Arizona this weekend.

Meanwhile, a blizzard is paralyzing Newfoundland, with some amazing snowfall totals and winds that are knocking out power to thousands of customers.

COLD AIR MOVING SOUTH ... Meteorologists have been watching the big mass of cold air for days, and now it appears to be moving toward the lower 48 United States.  We've written earlier this week about Sudden Stratospheric Warming, and how that condition will dislodge polar air southward (except we're not exactly sure how much of it is pushed onto our side of the globe).

By early next week, temperatures are expected to tumble about 40 degrees in the Rockies, Midwest and northern Great Lakes.

BLIZZARD ... The storm began taking shape Friday morning, dumping heavy snow in much of Idaho and in places like Salt Lake City. Winds gusted to near 80 mph in parts of Colorado. That storm is predicted to produce blizzard conditions this weekend as it treks on a northeast course out of the Rockies. Montana, the Dakota and northwest parts of Nebraska and Minnesota will get heavy snow and strong winds before the storm moves into Canada.

WEST COAST COLD ... Behind the storm system, very cold air will funnel into Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. Los Angeles will get lows in the mid 30s the next three nights, and it will be in the lower 30s near San Francisco. Light frost is predicted for the desert areas around Palm Springs, and there could be frost in the interior valleys.  It is not expected to be bad enough to damage crops.

Want some more cold.  How about upper 20s and a hard freeze in Phoenix on Saturday night?  And temperatures will reach the upper teens on the Arizona-Mexico border at night this weekend.

NEWFOUNDLAND STORM ... Much farther to the northeast, a separate storm system is crossing to the south of Canada's eastern-most province Friday.  That puts most of Newfoundland on the north (cold) side of the storm, and the precipitation is falling as snow.  Up to 30 inches of snow is possible in places, and winds are gusting above 60 mph.  Power is out across the province.

You can get some interesting Twitter accounts (including photos) of the storm


Buzzard The Mule said...

Three seasons in NC: long, hot summer, mild autumn, and warm spring. You can begin mowing your yard before Valentines Day, and swatting bugs by Easter. Celebrate!!

Anonymous said...

74 degrees Sunday, muggy, and with swarms of tiny bugs in the air! Lovely! Can't wait for 104 degrees by May!