Harsh Cold, Then a Break? What About February?

“Winter Fatigue” is setting in, big time. Each time I have posted about the cold and snow on social media this week, the comments have shown that we are getting fed up with the icy grip Old Man Winter has on us.

There are no changes to my thinking in how the weather will evolve over the next week. 3-5″ of snow Friday night into Saturday…then another 2-4″ Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. After that, BRUTAL cold Monday through Thursday. Wind chills will be as low as -30 or so Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Be sure and check in frequently on my Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest.

What about after that??? Well, first of all, it’s much too early to say what the Summer will be like.   I will say that a cold winter usually does not mean it will be a cool or hot summer; there really is not much of a correlation most years.

But we can take some educated guesses on Super Bowl/Groundhog Day weekend and February as a whole. Let’s compare the weather pattern now vs. what is expected in 9 days (Super Bowl Sunday).

Saturday’s upper-air chart shows our Polar Vortex over Hudson Bay in Canada, with a MASSIVE ridge of high pressure over the West Coast. This pattern is allowing cold air to make a beeline straight from northern Canada into our region.

sat500

By February 2nd, the computer models are showing a pattern that is finally changing (at least temporarily):

sbowl500Notice the Polar Vortex is farther north, closer to where it usually lives. Also notice the West Coast ridge has reoriented itself over the Gulf of Alaska. Now that that massive wall of high pressure is away from the West Coast, Pacific air (instead of arctic air) should be allowed to move across the country.

SO HOW “WARM” MIGHT IT GET IN YOUNGSTOWN IN THIS PATTERN?

30s, maybe 40!!!!! Break out the noisemakers and party hats.

Back to January for a minute. It has been cold, yes, but we are not in the Top 10 coldest Januarys on record, YET.

This month’s average temperature: 21.0 degrees.

dayfile

Here’s the top 10 coldest Januarys on record in Youngstown:

coldjan

19.2 degrees gets us on to the list. We will probably get there next week.

I looked at a handful of the years in that list to see what February was like after that cold January. It’s a mixed bag; some of those Februarys were warmer than average (which is 26.1 degrees), some colder:

febs

As for this February…despite the early part of the month being much more tolerable than much of January has been…..long-range models and forecasters are indicating that overall it will be cold (with severe cold likely in Midwest/northern Plains):

february

Spring begins March 20. Hang in there.

Eric

One thought on “Harsh Cold, Then a Break? What About February?

  1. I’m hearing VERY EARLY talk over at accuweather of a massive southern winter storm coming around February 5th. We shall see how that plays out. Long range guesses are fun.

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