We’re in the grips of a cold snap but the EURO weeklies continue to show a transition to warmer temperature the next 2 to perhaps 3 weeks. Here’s the cold 500mb flow that’s currently chilling us out. This is a mean 7 day forecast.
By the 4-11 day period the pattern starts to flatten and Pacific air starts to dominate much of the nation. Eventually the 7 day mean 500mb flow is forecast to look like this January 26th.
Notice the big changes that takes place in the jet. The huge ridge in Alaska is replaced by a deep trough. It pumps Pacific air into the country and for the most part cuts off access to any Arctic air. If the EURO mean ensembles are correct it should mean a prolonged period of near to above normal temperatures. Take a look at the temperature departures through 7 days at 5,000 feet (850mb). Pretty cold coast to coast.
Now look at what’s forecast to come in 7 day increments.
One thing to stress regarding the mild pattern. It comes at what’s statistically the coldest time of the year here in the Midwest. Normal highs range from 20 north to 30 south. So when we talk mild we mean highs that are more often in the range of 30-40 degrees. What I’m saying is it won’t be 60 but compared to normal (or what it is right now) it will be balmy. As I said on the air earlier, if you are going to have above normal temperatures this is the time of year to do it! Roll weather…TS
P.S. Just because it’s mild it doesn’t mean it can’t snow. It just makes it harder. However, if you can get in a spot where you are still cold enough, the snows can be significant as moisture levels are higher. Look what the weeklies show for 32 day snowfall. Where some of the warmest temperature departures are found is where some of the heaviest snows are forecast. These types of warm-ups can be tricky.
Terry Swails has been a television meteorologist in the Midwest since early 1977. He began his broadcasting career at KWWL-TV and has also been employed by KDUB-TV, KWQC-TV, and WQAD-TV, where he has been the prime time meteorologist for the last 5 years.
A popular fixture in Quad Cities television since 1986, Terry's passion and commitment to weather is well known. Aside from his television duties, He produces forecasts for the Quad City Times, a number of Quad City radio stations, and does work as a private consultant.
An avid storm chaser, Terry spent a week with legendary forecaster Tom Skilling in search of tornadoes in 2010. They saw their first tornado together (a violent multi vortex EF3) outside Wakita, Oklahoma. Terry and well known storm chaser Jim Reed also watched the eye of Hurricane Irene go directly overhead on the shores of Coney, Island in 2011.
With his vast knowledge of weather and unique perspective, Terry is also the author of several books. His first Superstorms was completed in 2005. He followed that up with Un-Natural disasters in 2008, and All I want to for Christmas is to see a Tornado in 2011. Terry collaborated with his wife Carolyn Wettstone on the last 2 books and has utilized her experience as a writer and former television anchor in a number of weather related projects.
Terry says he hasn't met a storm he didn't like. Tornadoes and snowstorms are his bread and butter and predicting the atmosphere is a challenge that never gets old.
Terry says this web site is a compilation of his life long love affair with weather. He points out "I put everything I would want as a meteorologist into the site. It's fun, informative, and even educational." He also adds, "I hope you find it enjoyable as well!"
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