Today's Weather Discussion: Getting Colder
Thursday, Dec. 2:
As expected, plenty of clouds have hung around today in association with an Alberta Clipper system that will send a cold front through the area tonight. Not expecting a huge drop in temperatures with this front, but it will help clear skies going into the evening and overnight hours. We'll look for a sunny start to things tomorrow, but the sunshine won't last long as another system arrives for the weekend.
This next system is just getting its start in the northwestern U.S., and will arrive here by early Saturday morning, spreading clouds in from the west by tomorrow afternoon. Much like the system we are dealing with today, there will be limited moisture to work with Saturday. However, today's system managed to produce a few raindrops and even some light sleet for a few locations today, so with a similar setup Saturday, I wouldn't be surprised to see at least a few raindrops or snow flurries on Saturday....but nothing measureable. I think the bigger impact/headache Saturday will be some gusty NW wind in the wake of the cold front.
The big story over the next week or so will be the arrival of the coldest air we've see this season. As seen below, a large area of low pressure will develop over the northeast U.S. (look for the "L" surrounded by a bunch of white circles). This trough will steer very cold air from Canada southward into the Midwest.
During the winter months, our weather is a bit of a "give and take" scenario. Typically, we associate high pressure with nice weather, which is correct in terms of skies usually being clear. The problem though is that in winter, high pressure is usually also associated with cold air, and as you can see below on the weather map for 6AM Monday morning, a hugh dome of high pressure will invade the middle of the country, leading to an impressive outbreak of cold air.
So how cold are we talking? One more map below show one model's temperature output for Monday at noon. If you have a hard time making out exactly what it shows, it forecasts temperatures in the mid to upper 20's at lunchtime Monday for our area. Yikes!
Bottom line, we'll be headed for daytime highs in the 30's possibly as early as Sunday, definitely for Monday-Wednesday, and lows in the upper teens early Tuesday & Wednesday mornings. Thankfully, high pressure means dry weather during this cold snap. Looks like a moderating trend will offer some warmer weather for the latter half of the week, but even then, temperatures will still be running below average.
On a not-so-serious side note, yesterday, when looking for a source to link to the blog about what an Alberta Clipper was, I learned something new about naming storm systems that originate in Canada. Technically speaking, not all "Alberta Clippers" develop in Alberta.....some develop farther east. If they do, two other names for these systems can include "Manitoba Maulers" or "Saskatchewan Screamers"....sounds like some good names for Canadian football or hockey teams. I don't see us ever using those terms in a weathercast, so I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity to use those terms here.