The table is set, the food is cooked, and now it's time to pop the cork on winter. Make no mistake about it, the pattern I've envisioned and warned about for weeks is here. Big ticket cold and snow is on the table and the next month or so could be exceptional around much of the nation. I am extremely impressed with the potential of this pattern!
Before I get to the weekend storm and the ensuing Arctic blast, let me start with the EURO weeklies. This is the mean (weekly) temperature departures for the next 6 weeks.
The 46 day average ending March 1st looks like this. Keep in mind that this is centigrade. Converted to fahrenheit it's about 10 degrees below normal per day. Now that's what I call an extended period of below normal temperatures. Wow.
One of the elements driving the cold is snow. You build a snow pack and it keeps cold air masses from modifying as they enter the Midwest. As the snow pack builds the cold feeds back and gets even more pronounced. The 46 day mean snowfall forecast is bound to have that effect (if it verifies). Here it is. A shield of icy cold snow all the way to the deep south!
Over the past weekend, we had the first of what is likely to be several snow producing systems. This one did not generate the type of cold that's coming. That arrives with the next major disturbance which comes just in time for the weekend. It will also have the added issue of strong winds which could produce blowing and drifting snow. For my area this has the potential to have much greater impacts than what we saw last weekend. This is the snow that fell then.
This is the snow the latest GFS is showing. Please keep in mind it's very early and there will be fluctuations in placement and amounts. Do not take these forecasts verbatim. However, I've seen enough to confidently say there is going to be a storm and it's going to be a player in the central Midwest. Much like the last storm, the area near and south of I-80 is currently ground zero.
Here's the latest EURO snowfall totals.
The regional EURO perspective.
I mentioned earlier the threat is there for extreme cold to enter the pattern. Following the snow the GFS has this for lows Monday morning.
After that pulls out and eases, the model goes ballistic with this 500mb pattern January 25th. The polar vortex has entered Wisconsin.
That's the old Manitoba mauler and it produces lows that look like this the 26th.
The accompanying wind chills would be as bad as I've seen in modern day calculations...50 below in parts of my area. That's deadly, high end, and I sincerely hope it does not come to pass.
Even the highs are nowhere close zero the preceding day, January 25th.
I just want to leave you with one last thought. Models are just that, simulations of what the atmosphere is capable of doing. I have no way of knowing after 7 day precisely how things will play out but I do believe there is truth to the trends. This is big ticket winter weather and the whip is coming down. The question is how hard and how many times? Stay tuned and roll weather...TS