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Submitted by Tim Buckley on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 9:02am.
I've been watching the models trends very closely here over the past couple of days looking for any sign of a warmup - and there's good news and bad news. Good news is, a big warm up is coming -- Bad news is, it won't last long. Behind it, even colder air than we're seeing right now will plunge into the South. The more I look at the maps, the more I'm thinking this is a slam dunk. Here's why..
We'll start off by looking at the Jet Stream position right now. Remember, the Jet Stream is crucial at this time of year to the forecast. Not only does it carry the storm systems across the country, but it dicatates just how far south the bitter cold arctic air can travel. As I'm sure you probably could guess, it's South of us right now - bringing temperatures down into the teens at times overnight.
Now let's get to the good news. This weekend we will finally see that warmer weather we've been looking for. Saturday will be near 60, and Sunday will be solidly in the 60's. The only problem is it comes at a price with a strong storm system. The way you get warmth northward in patterns like this is through storms.
Storms 'suck up' warm air from the south out ahead of the main low pressure system with a southerly flow. You can see that on the Jet Stream above for Sunday as we'll be south and east of the Jet in the warm sector of the storm. The only problem is, as warm as it is ahead of these storms, it's just as cold behind them - and this one is packing a punch.
Look at the dramatic change in the Jet Stream position overhead for us as we fast forward from Sunday into Monday. This HUGE trough in the Jet Stream is just funneling brutally cold air in from the north all the way into the northern regions of Canada. In fact, you can see the ridging start to trace itself over and above the poles - indicating at what we sometimes refer to as the "Siberian Connection". This is when air from the infamous Siberian region of Russia can actually stream across the poles into North America. When it happens, it always results in an epic blast of cold air. Get ready!
So how cold are we talking? It's too early to say for sure with exact numbers -- but looking at the trends it looks like we will be as cold as right now and likely a few degrees colder. Highs in the upper 30's early next week with lows in the 10's look like a good bet at this point. A smack in the face after a quick two-day tease of 60's this upcoming weekend. As far as the duration of this cold blast -- looks like it will at least the first half of the workweek.
Here's the Jet Stream forecast for Thursday:
You can see the trough has relaxed just a bit, but we're still solidly in another cold spell that looks very similar to where we are right now. If this pans out with another unseasonably cold week to start December, we may be in store for one of the coldest Decembers on record here in Wilmington. Using numbers through Tuesday, the month is already falling a full 11.5 degrees below normal. That would be more like 14 below normal had Dec. 1st not been 70 degrees.
We'll see what happens!
Stay warm for now.
By: Tim Buckley