The Cold That’s ComingJanuary 15th, 2013 at 1:39 pm by Don Paul under 4 Warn Weather
Extended range computer guidance–especially ensemble means for 850 mb temps and 500 mb heights–have been very consistent about the very cold air which is headed our way by Sunday evening into next week. This will certainly be the coldest pattern of the season. The question will be how much moisture can be wrung out from what is essentially a dry pattern. One element working in favor of some snow, of course, is our proximity to the Lakes. The other will be the occasional passage of short waves which will provide some lift to produce limited snowfall. This will not be a snowless pattern, but there are no signs of a prolonged SWly or WSW flow when the arctic air is in place to impact WNY with any huge LES storms. The coldest of this pattern in today’s (Tuesday) runs will have passed by the end of the week, but moderation after that should be slow. The 00z Euro ensemble has more significant moderation occurring by the following week than had previous Euro runs, so that will have to be watched. Even in the Euro, however, there is a hint of new cold advection over the northern plains in the last time period, so that tendency toward a zonal flow in the new Euro is still uncertain.
By recent years’ standards (not those of 76-78), this will be a somewhat harsh pattern for people and pets, but it will afford ski resorts with snowmaking capabilities a chance to rebuild bases. As for “loose talk” of a more favorable storm track at the end of the month or early February, I don’t see such a track in the 16 day time frame. Beyond that is–for me–nothing more than idle speculation not really supportable in the data.