Thursday, January 23, 2014

When will the cold snap break?

The Carolinas and the rest of the eastern United States are locked in the lengthiest cold snap in several years, with a seemingly endless series of arctic cold fronts sweeping into the Southeast.

The first front in the current cold snap arrived Monday evening. The second is crossing the Carolinas late Thursday. A third front is expected next Monday evening or early Tuesday.

Temperatures will struggle to climb above freezing on Friday, and reaching the average high temperature for this time of year -- 51 degrees -- seems like a far-fetched dream.

We'll all be paying for this in February and March, when our electricity and natural gas bills arrive.

So we ask the question:  How long will this last?

As is typical in the world of meteorology, there is no firm answer.  The computer models waffle from run to run, but we at least know what needs to happen for the cold to relent.

High pressure over the eastern Pacific Ocean and low pressure over eastern Canada have created a jet stream roller-coaster.  Relatively mild air surges north on the back side of high pressure and pushes into Alaska. On the eastern side of the high, arctic air descends from the Yukon into the eastern half of the United States.

A high pressure ridge off the Southeast coast -- know to weather-lovers as the Southeast ridge -- has been squashed in the current pattern.  If the Southeast ridge reappears, our temperatures climb.

A number of computer models are pointing to early February as the time when that might take place.

Like I said ... there's no agreement on this.  Winter-weather lovers take umbrage at the suggestion that the Southeast ridge will reappear.  They believe in the models that keep high pressure parked off the U.S. west coast.  But a number of meteorologists think the pattern will change, possibly as early as 10 days.  That would be sometime around Super Bowl Sunday.

In the meantime, bundle up. And brace yourself for those power bills.


Lotse said...

Those who have been longing for "real" winter to arrive, here it is. Is it what you hoped for, cold and dry enough to crack open your skin? Enjoy, but be prepared for huge bills.

Tad said...

This is caused by what an unheralded (and politically persecuted) group of rebellious scientists are calling "continental cooling."

BH said...

Cannot recall a winter (50+ for this man) with this much cold air or even significantly less here did not yield one or more significant snowstorms here. But maybe this is it.

Anonymous said...

Cold air so dry your skin cracks and nose bleeds. So much static build-up you receive continual, heart-stopping shocks through the day. Heat pump runs about 23 of 24 hours a day. Huge, budget-busting power bill and not an inch of snow to redeem the event.

Archiguy said...

No Tad, this is still part of global warming. This is what the 97% of climate scientists (the non-rebellious but still persecuted faction) have been predicting for the last 30 years.

Extreme events are becoming more commonplace, and the GENERAL TREND is increased warming (which is driving the extreme events). That's why every year now is among the warmest we've ever seen, on a global scale, and why every decade is similar.

Occasional snaps of cold weather, like the 2% of world glaciers that are advancing instead of the 98% that are retreating, do no disprove climate change predictions. They reinforce it.

Anonymous said...

"Those who have been longing for "real" winter to arrive, here it is. Is it what you hoped for..."

Not yet...still waiting on a huge snowfall, one that would bring Charlotte to a standstill for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Another clownish bromide from Archiguy. The rantings of a fool.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, so far this year is the "warmest we have ever seen." Any other claim is pure heresy! Get it right you rubes....This IS GLOBAL WARMING!

Rain = global warming.
Sunshine = global warming.
Wind = global warming.
Hot summers = global warming.
Sub-freezing winters = global warming.
Every possible variation of weather = global warming.

Get it right you silly unscientific fools!! Listen to Archigut. He is all-knowing!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:30 You must not be required to be at work regardless of the weather. So of us have to drive in rotten road conditions, before the scrapers and de-icers. I hate driving to work in the snow/sleet/ice covered roads.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:30 You must not be required to be at work regardless of the weather."

You are correct, I'm not. I'm not "required" to be anywhere except where I want to be at any given moment of the day. While you're commuting and fighting traffic, I'm sitting by my fireplace. If you live long enough, you can enjoy the benefits of retirement as well. But it hasn't even snowed or sleeted here in Charlotte yet...and you're already whining about it? Grow up.

Anonymous said...

As long as Al Gore can make more money off this " Global Warming " horse manure.

Anonymous said...

I take offense to that accusation! Al Gore's ideology is not horse manure. It is polar bear and whale manure! We must be aware of their plight. When the oceans rise to flood half of the United States, the whales and polar bears will be swimming amongst us!

CPNS 2014 said...

it's happen, nice info