Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bitter cold returns - beware of snowstorm hype!

Good morning and Happy New Year. Some of you are just getting back into the swing of things after an extended holiday break. Since the Christmas storm rolled through, our weather has calmed down a bit.

If you are interested in sky watching and wondering about the planets, well Jupiter and Mars should both be visible Tuesday night (hopefully before any clouds roll in). You will have to look to the southwest and around 6 p.m., Mars will be just below the crescent moon with Jupiter farther down.

Alright, so the colder weather is here. We've been watching it now for just over a week and it's catching the headlines today. I don't expect any records to fall, but it's back below normal and we will probably stay cold at least until the weekend. Normal highs are around 40 degrees in early January, but this is another Arctic blast that fits right in with the winter forecast we put out back in November. And this won't be the last blast this month. More details to come very soon.

We are expecting a chance for flurries this week too. This isn't anything to be worried about or stocking up for. There's the slightest bit of moisture coming over the Rockies and spilling out over the Plains. When it gets bitter cold, the atmosphere can't hold as much moisture, so it's easier to squeeze out some ice crystals (flurries). The chance will be with us from Wednesday afternoon through early Thursday.

Are we in for a more significant snowstorm this weekend?

  • I've seen some posts on Facebook of people sharing model data that is misleading. We have several different pieces of data available for us to look at and figure out what the weather will likely do next. At least once forecast model (GFS - for those that are into weather models) has been showing a healthy storm tracking right across the Plains and dumping up to a half-foot of snow. We've basically discounted this possibility as it doesn't really fit in with the kind of pattern we are looking at later this week. But if you are using different weather apps on smartphones, be mindful that they may be showing a weekend storm. Most apps just pull information right off the model data, and it can be wrong from time to time. 
The other model that we use for longer range forecasting (the European model) shows no storm at all, and gradually warms the temperatures over the weekend. That's likely to be what happens when all is said and done. So be on the lookout for fake weather news that might be spreading around on social media. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

give it to us straight, is this going to be a dry winter?

because it sure seems like it

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