Record cold likely for Eastern CONUS next week!

Tim Gonyo

EF2
Joined
May 28, 2005
Messages
131
Location
Saukville, WI
Folks,

We're on board to experience some of the coldest temperatures to hit the eastern CONUS in the last 10 years.

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After looking over data, I believe we will have a short window of -EPO/-NAO/-AO/+PNA. This will provide us with the right ingredients to usher in progressively colder weather for the next 2 weeks, and the most extreme cold coming around the changing of the months.

What does this mean for cities across the US? At the heart of the cold, the following will be common for the specified cities:

Boston: Highs in the single digits and lows around -10.
New York: Highs in the teens and lows in the single digits below zero.
DC: Highs in the teens to around 20 and lows in the single digits.
Atlanta: Highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits.
Milwaukee: Highs in the single digits BELOW zero and lows around -20.
Chicago: Highs around zero and lows in the teens BELOW zero.

Even the operational GFS has been hinting at this vodka like cold for the last several days now. Take heed people, this cold will end up being talked about as much as the warm period from Dec 15 - Jan 15. Departures could approach -30 in the heart of the cold.

Someone could approach -50F in a remote location of the northern US (below 1500 ft altitute) during this period if everything comes together perfectly.
 
In January 1994, a similar, significant cold outbreak hit the midwest and progressed to the east coast. Here are maps from that. It is surprisingly close to the one I think is coming next week:

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I have never seen most of those maps, but the data paints a very cold picture. I would suppose this all depends on the low/high pressure systems being quite powerful and in the right place?

PS: Neat maps!
 
Record cold -- probably not. But "pretty cold" has looked like a good bet for over a week now. Long enough for me to make several chase trips worth of $$$ from trading natural gas stock. :) God bless America....
 
When was the last time NYC went below 0F? I don't know the answer but if they could do that in Central Park that would be a big indicator of how cold the air mass is.

The example numbers you listed above are cold, but are they cold enough to beat the arctic outbreak back in January 2003? I think it was 2003, that's when I was walking on ice on Long Island Sound.
 
Models have continually tried to bite on bring a slug of cold air down across central / eastern US for a while now but it's never come to bear... I'm hesitant to go this extreme on a forecast given the recent track record.
 
Record cold -- probably not. But "pretty cold" has looked like a good bet for over a week now. Long enough for me to make several chase trips worth of $$$ from trading natural gas stock. :) God bless America....


You are a smart man Mr. Wolfson! I've made an investment in a company in that region that is, in my opinion, extremely under-valued.

I'd be a little skeptical of record setting cold at this point, but it is certainly possible. The CPC is mentioning this arctic airmass as being one of the most "expansive in recent years". It will be interesting to see if it pans out.
 
If the low hights settled in a bit further west, there would probably be a better chance of a big East-New England snowstorm.

As for the temps, the odd record might fall where a decent cover of low density powder snow combines with clear night skies and light-calm winds. elsewhere things will probably be ordinary @$#&# cold
 
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What happened to all that record cold for the northeast? I'm seeing highs in the 20's and lows in the teens for where I live for the next two weeks. Below normal, but no records here.
 
Well, the latest GFS run shows the "big momma" artic airmass moving into the central and eastern CONUS starting next weekend, with widespread 850mb temperature <-20C, and 2m temps near 0F all the way to Atlanta by early-mid next week. As Rdale has noted, however, the GFS has seemed aggressive in moving these artic airmasses southward, and I've noticed that the GFS has persistently shown the "big momma" artic airmass moving south of the Canada-USA border in the day 8-10 period for the past 4-5 days, with each run tending to "delay" the intrusion. If this holds true, however, the areas east of the MS River could see a very cold period (near record-cold possible).

The ECMWF does show ~-34C 850mb temps nearing the northern MN border by the end of the week, so there is some support for this artic intrusion.
 
Cold is on its way as forecasted!

The coldest outbreak of arctic air in 10 years is about to blast its way into the Great Lakes area late this weekend and will shift into the Eastern CONUS next week, and moderate a bit as it does.

Indices are becoming inreasingly favorable for this outbreak to happen.

We will enter a -EPO/-NAO/-AO/+PNA period which will allow a large polar vortex to settle from Hudson Bay to Eastern Canada, south to the Great Lakes. Here are the EPO, NAO, AO, PNA ensembles. Only questionable one is the NAO, as it shows it going slightly positive, but I believe it will stay in negative territory.

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Looking on to the ensemble maps, the 850 mb temperature ensemble maps show massive cold building south into the Great Lakes area before modifying and heading towards the East Coast.

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Looking at the 12z operational GFS, during the height of the cold, 850 T's will approach -30c over Northern Wisconsin, with the -27c running along the WI/IL border. Using DT's 850 mb temp rule, we would subtract -2c from the 850 mb temp for the month of February to get the 2 meter temp. (Using my house for example, -28.5c 850 minus 2c equals -30.5c). That equates to -22.9F. That's really close to what I think the temperature will be Monday morning. I think I'll be in the -20F to -25F range. Here is the 850 mb T map for 12Z Monday 02/07/07:

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The 2 meter temperature map for the same period only shows my surface temperature around -12F, however, which I think is too warm. Especially seeing I have fresh snowcover of 8" to 10" and a crystal clear sky which will allow for exceptional radiational cooling. 2 meter GFS temperature map for 12Z Monday 02/05/07:

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Moving on to Monday afternoon here, the GFS paints a 850 mb temperature of -27C, and using DT's 850 temperature rule again, I would add 7c for February, bringing it up to -20c. That gives me a temperature during the warmest part of the day around -4F. I believe my high temperature to be between -5F and -10F Monday here. Here is a 850 mb temperature map of 18Z Monday 02/05/07:

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So far, no one is near as cold as I think it will be. The coldest I can find is the NWS which has me at -7F Sunday night. I think most, if not all of Wisconsin will struggle to hit 0F on Sunday and Monday during the day and will fall to between -20F and -35F at night. Some areas in remote areas could approach -40F I believe. The coldest temperature on record for Milwaukee, WI for the month of February is -26F set in February, 1996. I think if everything falls in place, that record could be in trouble this upcoming weekend.

My very own predictor forecast for this upcoming weekend:


Milwaukee, WI:

Saturday, February 3rd, 2006: High: 3F, Low: -7F
Sunday, February 4th, 2006: High: -6F, Low: -17F
Monday, February 5th, 2006: High: -8F, Low: -26F (ties record set in Feb '96)
Tuesday, February 6th, 2006: High: 8F, Low: -16F


Moderation starts Wednesday.
 
I always like to look at the US/Canada weather as it often impacts the pattern across Europe in the subsequent days.

The polar vortex is expected to move into the Hudson Bay area over the next couple of days before ending up close to the Great Lakes. The effect of this is to introduce extremely cold air across much of the central and eastern US, especially the northern Plains/Great Lakes states - 850 hPa temperatures of around -35C are expected across parts of MN on Saturday Sunday and Monday, and even in Washington, D.C., they drop to around -20C by Tuesday.

1000-500 hPa thicknesses drop to around 480 dam on Saturday across northern MN!

This whole episode should shove a potent jet out into the Atlantic early next week, but the evolution of this jet will be the big player in the weather of NW Europe - if it bifurcates around the UK, we could be in for some fun!
 
It's interesting to see the model forecasts of a 240-260kt 250mb jet streak across the east-central US and western Atlantic this weekend! Given the degree of baroclinic instability, it's not much of a surprise to see the GFS forecasting a <960mb low in eastern Canada this weekend... It's rather remarkable to see how "wrapped up" that cyclone gets --> http://weather.cod.edu/forecast/GFS/gfsUS_850_temp_96.gif ... The warm sector begin to wrap all the way around the west side of the cyclone, and you actually see warm-air advection occurring on the south side of the low... Not too often do you see that the warm sector has rotated almost 270 degrees around the cyclone (compared to the typical wave-cyclone model).

Many locales in the northern-tier of states along the central and eastern USA-Canada border may not rise above 0F for several days. Record cold? Probably not. One of the colder artic intrusions in the past several years? Yup.
 
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The most interesting possibility for the Northern Plains would likely be releated to duration of freezing tempatures. There is a possibility that wind chill values may reach into the the -35F range for some locations. No doubt cold but not that unusual for this time of year (our state has experienced several episodes of extreme windchills of fifty to seventy degrees below zero.)
 
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The most interesting possibility for the Northern Plains would likely be releated to duration of freezing tempatures. There is a possibility that wind chill values may reach into the the -35F range for some locations. No doubt cold but not that unusual for this time of year (our state has experienced several episodes of extreme windchills of fifty to seventy degrees below zero.)

I agree with the -50 to -70 windchills, now was that before the change in wind chill index? I'm trying to recall as it seemed to me that it's been less frequent that we have been able to achieve indicies such as that recently. Either way, the values seen across the Northern Plains in the next few days will be downright bone-chilling. As Scott mentioned, the main problem will be the duration. Here in Northern IA we should be steadily below zero for somewhere close to the 96 hr. range or more. We could possibly sneak a degree or two above zero on Sunday or Monday but either way with lows around the -15 range thats good enough for me.
 
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