Although confidence is not 100% yet, confidence in the forecast for some incredibly cold temperatures to hit central parts of the states from early to mid week (next week) is increasing. Both the GFS and ECMWF American & European computer models are agreeing on a shot of severely cold Arctic air reaching central Canada early next week before hitting the great plains and mid west from Tuesday on wards – before spreading east later in the week. Don’t get us wrong though it will be a fairly cold weekend for the plains, mid west and north east this weekend with temps just slightly below average. Next week though is when a big chunk of the PV (Polar Vortex) could dive south into these central and eastern parts of the US increasing the risk of “life threatening” cold.
This chart courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com shows that BRUTAL cold indicated by the pinkish colours next Wednesday (“70% confidence” of this happening);
After a chunk of life threatening cold hit the upper North East earlier this week associated with a blockbuster snowstorm, the cold next week could be as or even more severe than this. Many areas stretching from North Dakota to Chicago are forecast to see highs several degrees below 0 if this cold spell verifies, with the unusually cold air spreading towards the east coast towards the end of the month (mid to late next week). There is also quite a bit of snow in the forecast with “Northerly clippers” forecast over the next 5 days for the great lakes, upper north east bringing the odd fall of 2-6 inches locally. There’s the potential for a more significant swathe of snow next week associated with the severe Arctic outbreak.
This depth of cold is very unusual and will have a variety of disruptive consequences including potential power outages, cell service outages and water supply issues. This is not your ordinary winter cold snap, it’s one of those severe ones that hit every 2 to 3 years, and you should keep a VERY close eye on the forecast as this depth of cold is more severe than a blockbuster snowfall due to the risk to life it poses. If the forecast verifies keep a close eye on the vulnerable people in your community. And keep an eye on local forecasts that monitor this developing risk. We say risk, because this is currently put at around a 70% chance of verifying. So that 30% is still there, but it’s relatively small. Stay informed.