As you know if you have seen my Winter Forecast , we are expecting another colder-than-average Winter across our part of the country. It would be nice to have an unusually mild November before we settle into another long Winter, right??? Well, if only wishing made it so.
Next week will bring some January-like cold into the United States. I GUARANTEE you will hear all sorts of talk about the “Polar Vortex” again….it was last year’s buzzword after all. As a quick reminder, the Polar Vortex is NOT something unusual…in fact it exists almost year-round. Occasionally, every single Winter, it roams away from it’s usual home around the North Pole and has a part in changing weather regimes around the Northern Hemisphere. Today, it’s in it’s “usual” spot (highlighted in black):
A sequence of events will take place in the coming days that will dislodge the vortex and send it south. Would you believe that a key player in our cold next week is a Typhoon that is SE of Japan right now??? Typhoon Nuri is “recurving” in the western Pacific right now and is shown (“L” on left) on this analysis of the sea level pressure in that part of the world: The system will rocket northeast and EXPLODE into a very intense low pressure system in the Bering Sea by this weekend: Look at all those isobars! This storm will cause enormous waves and a tremendous amount of wind. But I promised to show you what this system has to do with our upcoming cold snap. This system, as most “recurving” typhoons do, will cause an atmospheric chain reaction in the Pacific and over North America. It’s important to remember that air is a (invisible) fluid. It behaves very much like water. The intense system west of Alaska is like a big rock that is dropped in a pond. Downstream of that rock, a big wave forms. In the atmosphere, we refer the top of the wave as a ridge. That ridge can be seen pumping up in western Alaska on Saturday: Note there is already a pre-existing ridge on the West Coast of the US and over NW Canada.
By the middle of next week, the jet stream will look like this: A massive ridge of high pressure on the West Coast, extending all the way up to the Arctic Circle….and our “friend” the Polar Vortex has dipped all the way to far southern Canada. So, to review, the recurving Typhoon pumped the ridge, which in turned deepened the trough over North America.
Ok, so that’s a lot of “big picture” stuff. What’s about the weather here in Ohio/PA??
Depending on how long this pattern persists, we might have a shot to crack the top 10 coldest Novembers on record in Youngstown. Here’s the list, based on average temperature (combining highs and lows):
1976 tops the list and that’s interesting because the Winter of 1976-1977 (the coldest on record in Youngstown) is one of our “analogs”…ie years in which the oceans and atmosphere have conditions most similar to this one. See the Winter Forecast video for more on “analogs”.
What about snow??? I don’t think accumulating snow will accompany this shot of cold in the WFMJ viewing area, although flurries will surely be seen. Lake-effect snow WILL be an issue along I-90 in NE Ohio and into NW PA and western NY. Enough to shovel:
Thanks for reading!