Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Arctic Invasion to Classic January Thaw

The coldest air of the seaon will be with us for a one day stand starting tonight and bottoming out tomorrow. Tomorrow morning's lows will likely be below zero in areas that have a decent snowpack. Places like Keene, NH to Orange, MA may see temperatures radiate all the way down to -10 degrees. Closer to Boston and urban areas, temperatures will be closer to 10 degrees. In between, the suburbs will range from -5 to +5 degrees tomorrow morning. High temperatures tomorrow afternoon will only manage 10 to 15 degrees in SNE, with highs up in NNE ranging from 0 to 5 degrees. It will be that cold. Don't think it will stay for an extended period of time. It will be out of here by Friday, after a chilly morning with lows in the single digits, highs will rebound some 30 degrees and high temperatures will be in the lower 30's. We take a step forward on Saturday with higher temperatures yet. Highs should be around 40.

Then the true warm air, January Thaw, begins on Sunday. I don't think it will be a bright sunny day with highs in the 50's and 60's and everyone will be out in the sun with shorts and t-shirts. Since it has been so cold and we have a decent snowpack across New England, it will be a very damp mild day Sunday. There will be lots of fog and places, valleys, staying stuck in the upper 30's and 40's, while areas south of the Mass Pike could break into the sunshine and see temperatures approaching 50, if not into the mid and upper 50's. We see this setup a lot in the Spring when places like Orange, MA will be say 38 degrees, while Providence breaks into the sun and warm air and sees temperatures at 58 degrees, a 20 degree difference. However, I think we will all start to warm up Monday and Tuesday as many will start to warm up to around 60 degrees, if not over 60 degrees. The exception to this will be the South Coast and Cape as winds will be coming off the 38-40 degree water temperature, so here mid 40's will be likely. Boston may switch to a sea breeze, dropping them into the upper 40's for highs during these warm days as well.

I don't think this will be a real extended period of warmth. When we are in the warm period, the January Thaw, we will be warm, no question about that. I just think the duration will be that of a classic thaw. It will not stretch to 3-4 weeks as in years past, it has seemed some of our "thaws" would transition into mini springtimes, with a 7-8 week hiatus from winter. This will not happen this year. Most models are only hinting at seven to perhaps 10 days of warmth for the East. Then we will return back to a cold and perhaps snowy wintertime pattern the rest of the month here in the East as much of the country will start to cool down and the West Coast dries out. The NAO will start to plummet at this time as well. So, signs are that it could get quite wintery around here say after January 12-17.

Timing could change, but I think the trend for this year is to keep it cold and tremendous snowpack in much of the northern tier of the United States and Canada will keep the true warm air thwarted for at least a while.

Thats it for today, I will have more tomorrow. Just two more days of real winter cold and then we will jump into April for a little while.

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