After a rainy, cold, windy Monday and Monday night, things will be somewhat better today. Not much more than spotty drizzle/showers through midday and then clouds and slowly falling temperatures. This morning’s surface map shows fairly benign weather:
There’s plenty of cold air out west and some of that will finally be heading our way in the coming days.
Before we move on to the forecast, a few words about the past. I will do a full 2015 Year in Review tomorrow or Thursday. For now, it looks like a lock that December will be the warmest on record in Youngstown.
With no measurable snow likely through the 31st, we should hold the record for the slowest start to the snow season (through 12/31) on record with only 1.2″ at the airport.
The contrast between the extreme (cold) weather that we had at the start of the year and the end (warm) of the year is amazing.
A tranquil day tomorrow with highs in the mid 40s. There might be a passing sprinkle or shower in the afternoon. This will be the last “mild” day for a while.
NEW YEAR’S EVE/DAY:
The arrival of seasonably cold air will be accompanied by some lake-effect snow in the snow belts. Probably not a big event but enough to shovel for some. For the WFMJ viewing area, not much more than spotty flurries. The temperatures at midnight on January 1, 2016 will likely be around 30-32. Highs on Friday will not be much warmer than that.
Snowfall through Saturday, based on the GFS model:
Good news for holiday travelers as the weather looks quiet with not much more than a flurry.
So, it will turn colder at the start of the year, but does it last?? Well, not really. Think the pattern will once again favor milder-than-average temperatures for next week although it will not be nearly as warm as it was around Christmas.
But there are indications that January will end up being MUCH closer to average overall in the temperature department. One of the things we watch is something called the “arctic oscillation”. When it goes negative, shots of cold air are “allowed” to come into the eastern US more frequently. It is shown to be negative for much of the first half of January.
Our January forecast, issued around November 1, called for near-average temperatures for the month of January (as a whole). This forecast may not need to be tweaked much. After a December temperature anomaly of +12, a near-average January will certainly FEEL colder!
WEATHER FOR WEATHER GEEKS:
The Valley’s most detailed weather video will be online by 8pm and will focus on the longer range since the short-range weather will not be all that active. We’ll take a look at the factors in play for January and February. Might even talk about how NEXT winter should be much different!