Thursday, January 5, 2012

1/5 - 12:30pm - The Real Cold is Coming!

After a brief period of bitterly cold temperatures earlier this week, most of the eastern half of the nation is beginning to recover. Highs in Louisville today will get into the 50's and West Tennessee could reach 60 in places. This is all thanks to southerly airflow under a ridge that's developing to the west. Temperatures will remain reasonably warm with a few small dips this weekend.The big story is what will happen during the middle of next week. The NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and AO (Arctic Oscillation) are forecast to go at least neutral or negative during this time, which means that the pattern will be ready to support an outbreak of cold air in the East. The computer models have had a very difficult time lately resolving when exactly these oscillations will go negative, but it seems like there's enough of a consensus now to say that this will probably happen. How long they will stay negative remains to be seen, but given the time of year we're in now I would expect the cold air to stick around for a while.

The next issue with this cold air is the possibility of snow. A storm moving through on Wednesday could produce a rain to snow situation for Kentucky and Tennessee on Wednesday night if the cold air moves in quick enough. This is certainly something to watch since the models are not picking up on this well at this time. What they are picking up on is the bitter cold in the wake of this system as a trough sits on top of the East US. If you didn't get the super-heavy jackets out this week, you'll definitely need them by the end of next week!

I'm heading back to Mississippi State for the spring semester, so my broadcasts at WBBJ will resume next weekend. See you then!

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