•Chance of freezing rain/snow Saturday into Saturday night
•Gradual warm-up begins tomorrow and last till the middle of next week
•Temps will average between 34-39 degrees during this period
•Saturday and Sunday appear to be warmest days
•Due to low temps mostly remaining below freezing along with temps still remaining quite chilly, major thawing is not expected
•Middle of next week looks to turn colder once again and possibly story as well (details in the blog)
•Colder and snowier pattern may last into the middle or late part of February
Some daily humor-
Why not start todays blog out with a bit of humor, not to take away from the danger or significance of the snow in the South yesterday, but simply for laugh.
Tomorrow marks the first day of our overdue, not that impressive, short lived warm up, tomorrow temps will likely reach the upper 20’s across the region under sunny skies. For the period from Friday to about Wednesday of next week it appears we will have a period of temps averaging between 35 and 40 degrees, marking the first period above freezing temperatures since about mid month, and marking and end to the sub freezing marathon we have been in for the last two weeks. While it won’t be a total thaw, and will not likely make to much of a dent on the frozen ground, rivers and lakes, it will certainly be a well deserves respite from the arctic air. The big question is, does this warm up come at a cost? Will the cold air return? Will February be as cold as January? Lets try to answer some of those questions, in terms of the temperatures after the warm up, and what the indications are for the temperatures looking ahead, lets take a look at the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecast for February temps between the 6th and 12th.
As you can see, we are forecasted with a 40% chance of below normal temps during the 8-14 day time period of February, now keep in mind it is early February and therefore climatoligically speaking one of the coldest parts of winter. Therefore, temps do not even need to be below average to be cold ,or to support snow so if we in fact head below average, we are dealing with another period of arctic temps across the region for the mid and later part of the upcoming month. The next question is will any moisture be around and will the cold air and moisture get together and create a snowy February as well?
Next is the CPC prediction for precipitation for February 6th-12th:
As you can see the CPC has our region at a 40% chance of above normal precipitation for the 6-12th of February time frame as well. Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or HVW to know that a combination of below average temps and above average precipitation is a recipe for a potentially snowy period to come. Next question is whether or not there are any models showing the possibility of a snowy scenario developing around the 6th? I can help with that question, but please keep in mind that these are model “scenarios” that are way outside of the range where what they depict can be considered accurate, or should be taken verbatim. They are only being shown to support the theory of how the pattern may evolve as we head into next week, the below models have in fact nailed storms in this time frame, and in the same breath they have missed storms in a less than three day time frame. So its important not to take these images for anything more than an indicator for what we may need to watch over the coming days. With that said, below are three major forecasting models, the Canadian (CMC), the European, and the GFS it is interesting to note that all three models at over a week away want to develop a significant storm around the same time frame of Feb 5th/6th.
Again, it is important to note that by tomorrow, all the models may lose this storm or change its arrival time by a matter of days, at this range the models should only be used to find signals in the upcoming pattern, trends in the forecasts they are showing, and indicators to what may be trying to develop. Next lets take a look at our fall from grace with the upcoming warm up, below are two images from the European model showing temps for Sunday, which may end up being our warmest day, and the temps by the middle of next week. As you can see, the warm up is very brief, and the cold air returns, if we do in fact have a storm next week, then we can expect it to leave even colder air in its wake. Also important to note that unlike our last two thaws, we will not see extended hours of above freezing temps, we will not see temps into the 50’s and 60’s and lows will still remain below freezing for most of the timeframe, with the exception of maybe Saturday night. So we should not expect any significant thawing to occur across the region, only a brief tease.
Following this timeframe on the models, the temps continue to slide back down to below average levels, and as mentioned above any potential storm departing the region may further enable arctic air to return to the region. So in closing, make sure you make the best of this upcoming stretch of “warmer” temperatures, because there are some indications that cold and snow may return with a vengeance by as early as next week.