Monday, December 30, 2013

Another wintry blast, another miss (or escape) for the Southeast

It's starting to sound like a broken record, but another shot of very cold air is moving into the United States. It's being accompanied by the threat of another winter storm, too.

But once again, upper atmospheric steering currents are allowing the Southeast to miss (or escape, depending on whether or not you enjoy wintry weather) the cold air and frozen precipitation.

Temperatures are brutally cold Monday in the upper Midwest. The forecast high temperature Monday in Minneapolis is 3 degrees, and after an overnight low of 10 below zero, the predicted high Tuesday is 3 degrees below zero.

It will be very cold in Chicago, too, but readings will remain above zero because the Windy City is expected to be hit with a snow-producing winter storm.

Lows below zero will be common place in the Midwest over the next few days.

But rather than dive into the Southeast, the strong high pressure system will slide eastward over the next few days. The storm track also will move along the Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic. If that sounds familiar, it's because cold high pressure systems have been following the same path regularly this winter.

The mechanism is not in place for high pressure to push into the Southeast and take hold there. For our part of the country, the cold air outbreaks have been brief, as there isn't a blocking pattern in the atmosphere to lock the arctic high pressure systems in place over the eastern United States.

There is considerable debate among weather followers, as to how long this pattern will continue. Computer models indicate no real change through the first 10 days of January, but meteorologists will tell you not to put a ton of faith in computer models beyond a few days.

The truth is, we don't know how long the pattern will continue.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a broken record because it is a broken record.

Face it: if the rest of the country gets below zero temperatures for weeks, five inches of ice and ten feet of snow, the Southeast will get only a few nasty rain showers. The Southeast is exempt from the rough winters common all over the remainder of the country. You might as well not hold your breath thinking otherwise.

Anonymous said...

No matter how dramatic you try to make it, these weather blogs have become boring.

You sum it up best in your last sentence with the words, "we don't know".

Like I said...boring.

Anonymous said...

Weather speculation for Chicago and Minneapolis---irrelevant and boring.

Anonymous said...

I don't find it boring at all, and neither do many others. Weather patterns are an interesting subject to lots of people. If you find it boring, hey - here's an idea. Skip the story and take your bellyachin' elsewhere.

Maybe there's a Kardashian factoid you can find somewhere that would just plum fascinate you. I might find THAT boring, but I wouldn't post a comment to say so. That's called "trolling". Don't be that guy.

Trolling Guy said...

Boring? No! Best story all month...period! Put that in your smoke and pipe it.

Anonymous said...

In 1985 it made to 5 degress below zero in Charlotte. In 1989 I remember leaving work (3rd shift stocker at a Bi-lo) and it was 0. So it does get cold here - and it does snow too... In 2004 we had 13 inches in uptown Charlotte and 18 inches on Independence Blvd. And yes - that was all in one day. We are due for a real winter here - all we need is for the jet stream to move a little further South and that very cold air will get pulled down to us. Whether you believe in man made global warming or not - the fact is it was colder here in the 70s and 80s. That is a fact.

j d shaw said...

If we do get a "real winter" may it contain only a small amount of snow that will melt within three days. No ice or sleet please. And you can keep the sub-zero temperatures too.

Anonymous said...

I remember a storm in the late 70s where it was 9 degrees and we had a foot of snow. I remember it well because my grandfather had just died and we had no idea a storm was coming. To people who are either young or new to the area this may seem crazy - but cold winters do happen here.

Anonymous said...

Though we do get very "cold snaps," as described in the posts above, they are not usual. We do not experience a long, cold winter of sustained frigid temperatures. In other words, it may snow, but we do not have snow on the ground all winter. Or, we do not have consecutive weeks of below-freezing temperature. We may have a week of very cold weather, but in no time, the 50's, 60s, and even 70's soon return.

The moral of my post? There is none. Be glad these frigid snaps are rare and that we do not have to spend all winter digging out like those in the upper midwest.