Look ma, I’m stormchasing.
What month is it again? Jeez.
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Look ma, I’m stormchasing.
What month is it again? Jeez.
Squall line of storms moving into the NE Florida area later today.
A tornado watch is up for most of North-Central Florida, and all of Southeast Georgia. For now, most of NE Florida’s counties are not included. The line is weakening as the day goes on, so its possible the watch does not get extended.
Regardless, expect the threat of damaging wind gusts and a possible isolated tornado or two through the early evening hours as the line passes.
The SPC continues to track the threat of severe thunderstorms tomorrow and Tuesday across the Southeast US.
There is an “Enhanced” 3/5 categorical risk issued tomorrow for portions of Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. For now, all modes of severe weather are possible, including discrete supercells capable of producing tornadoes. The SPC also has a 10% tornado risk area hatched, which means significant EF-2+ tornadoes are possible.
Tuesday the threat will shift more into Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. For now, it’s unclear how strong the dynamics will be. The tornado threat may be lower, but storms likely will have ample moisture and instability to produce strong winds and hail.
We will follow updates as they come out. Definitely a day to be alert tomorrow.
January pattern flip brings rain out west, severe weather in the east, and mild temperatures to most.
Apologies for the couple day hiatus. We're back tracking some much warmer weather than the last time we spoke. The arctic blast of Christmas has fully retreated, with a full scale pattern flip underway. Replacing our amplified winter pattern is a much more zonal Pacific Jet pattern that brings mild air from the ocean across the US. This pattern will bring some notable effects to the Lower 48.
First, several "atmospheric river" events are forecast for the Western US. This is a pattern that commonly brings heavy rain to the West Coast, via heavy moisture transport off the Pacific Ocean. A finger of the jet stream will set up that's hundreds of miles long, bringing moist air as far away as Hawaii to states like California and Oregon. Sometimes these are also referred to as "Pineapple Express" events.
The result will be heavy rain and dramatic snowfall for the Sierra Nevada's and Cascades in the next week or two. While it'll make for some unfun weather, the rainfall remains incredibly helpful to the drought stricken Western US. The region remains in a long-term mega-drought. Relief has been coming slowly in the last 6-12 months, but some parts of California, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah remain in Extreme to exceptional drought conditions. The rainfall will be fast enough to cause mudslide and flooding concerns, but will be helpful long term. These events will primarily focus on California, but rainfall will extend into Nevada and the 4 corners states over the next 7+ days.
Out east, severe weather is making a comeback in the forecast. There's a low risk of severe storms tonight and tomorrow across the Southeast US as a system moves through.
However, looking at next week, a more robust and dynamic system will drop into the Gulf Coast region, and could be a potent severe weather maker. The Storm Prediction Center has already issued a 30% risk area for parts of Arkansas and Louisiana on Monday (1/2). A 30% this far out typically means an active day, and all forms of severe weather, including tornadoes, remain possible. The threat will shift eastward on 1/3, and could include some of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. We'll have more as the event gets closer.
Severe weather threats, a New Year's Blowtorch, and when is the cold coming back?
Across the US today, we begin a nice thaw after a record setting cold spell for Christmas time. The Arctic airmass responsible for massive impacts over the last few days is starting to modify as warmer air begins to return. Unfortunately, in the thaw comes the grim realization that at least 63 people were killed over the weekend in the cold, according to CNBC. Many people were found in their cars, or had cardiac events shoveling snow. More work continues in places like Buffalo, where historic blizzard conditions have left the city still crippled today. It's inexcusable with the forecast improvements we have. We'll keep you updated on the story.
As we look ahead, a few weather headlines loom. First up is the threat of severe weather returning. The atmosphere will warm and moisture will replace the dry arctic air through this week. The first of two troughs will dig into the Central US on Thursday and Friday this week. Moisture return and severe potential looks limited, but worth monitoring. Next week, another trough may find warmer air and more moisture to work with, just after New Years, which may prompt a severe threat across the Ozarks, Tennessee Valley, and Southeast US.
Temperature wise, the CPC forecasts well above normal temperatures for everyone around and East of the Plains for the next two weeks. A more zonal flow to the jet stream will keep warmer air ridged over the Central and Eastern US, with a trough more over the Western US. Most of the frigid air will be locked up north. These resets are common after big cold snaps.
So, when is that cold coming back?
According to some of our ensemble forecasts, it looks like Mid to Late January could be another cold spell. Cold air will begin to bottle back up over Siberia. As the Pacific Jet retracts, we'll see a more +PNA look. That means blocking over Greenland, a trough signal over the Eastern US, and a Western Ridge that pushes that cold air southward. For now, no reason to think it would be as extreme as what we just saw, but that's overall when the real winter-like weather likely returns.
Pretty amazing how the front lined up perfectly with Christmas.
2nd to 3rd coldest on record across the area. One more solid freeze tonight and then we’ll rebound through the week.
No more big cold for awhile after down here.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Across the US this morning, our arctic outbreak is still quite evident on GOES 16 satellite imagery. Snowpack from a historic blizzard over the great lake contrasts the limited cloud cover. Cloud streets extend from Maine, down to Texas along the ocean, indictive of arctic air moving over warmer water.
It'll be one of the colder Christmas days on record for much of the Southeast US. Freezing temperatures plunged clear through Texas, and even deep into Florida this morning. Highs will pull a few degrees warmer than yesterday for most, but overall still far below normal and near record cold for some.
Through this week, a gradual warmup is expected. The arctic air will modify, and the pattern that displaced it is collapsing. The result will be a much more mild and stormy pattern as we look towards New Year's. The Climate Prediction Center virtually guarantees above normal temperatures for most of the Central and Eastern US into Early January.
Beyond that, medium range forecasts expect the Polar Vortex to ramp up significantly. This means all the coldest air will stay lodged comfortably around the North Pole. Much of January will likely be warm, with some, but overall limited cold spells.
Could this winter blast be the coldest air of the rest of the winter? Not likely. I would expect a cold end to January and start of February possibly. Usually these kinda events aren't one off, but the atmosphere usually takes some time to reset and recharge.
Bottom line? Cold to cool a few more days, then a warmup for the foreseeable future.
If cold was a picture, the below GOES-16 Satellite True Color Image would be that. That's absolutely text book cold.
Across the US, an arctic airmass has settled in, straight from Siberia, in the wake of a record setting blizzard across the Northern US. Feet of snow, white out conditions and high winds crippled travel over the last 48 hours.
The storm system itself has wrapped up into Canada, but in it's wake is some of the coldest weather we've seen in some time. Many folks across the Gulf Coast, and Southeast US are setting daily record low temperatures. For many, especially in the South, the event is one of the top 5 coldest Christmas periods on record.
The cold sticks around for a few days. By the end of this coming week, the pattern will have massively flipped. The blocking patterns that set up this blast will move on, and we'll have a much more mild pattern to start January. Most of the country can expect above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation in the New Year window and into January. Often times after intense cold snaps like this, there's a reset in the atmosphere and it takes awhile for more cold to show up.
It's not likely our last of the season, historically these events aren't one and done. But after this week, it'll turn nicer for awhile.
Current temperature and wind chills this morning.
Pretty uh, cold.
Expect a slow warm up today. Temps will make it into the low 40s for most, but winds will stay brisk and “feels like” temps won’t come out of the 30s.
An even colder night is expected tonight. Winds will relax which helps radiational cooling. Low temps Christmas morning will likely be in the low 20s.
One of the coldest Christmases on record here. Stay warm!
Apparently a serious pileup has occurred in Ohio. Dozens of cars are reportedly involved, some accounts are saying a mass causality type event.
It's really unfortunate that so many people often have no choice but to be out on the roads in extreme weather events like this. It's easy to say "why was anyone on the road, we've know about this for a week", but that often glosses over how real life actually works.
Fact is, millions of people had to go to work today regardless. Some for jobs that could be done at home. But many were likely the types that keep the world moving. Doctors, nurses, EMS, public works, ect. It's never as simple as "everyone just stay home".
But inevitably, in zero visibility conditions like this, these events can happen. Hopefully it's not as bad as reported but, doesn't look good, and I'm sure Ohio isn't the only example of this today.
“🚨: Mass Casualty Incident’ declared following pileup on Interstate 75 in Ohio 📌 l Multiple emergency crews are responding too a very serious accident is occurring on I-75N. With Mass Casualty Incident declared reports of over 100+ vehicles are piled up”
Here it comes! How cold is it going to get for NE Florida? Glad you asked.
An arctic present from Santa is on our doorstep this morning friends. GOES 16 satellite imagery shows a cold front surging into Central Florida late this morning, with clear skies and cold air behind it. The vertical cloud streets in the Gulf of Mexico are a dead giveaway of an approaching winter airmass, and this one's for the books.
As of about 11am local time today, temperatures are just short of 60°F for most. The sun is coming out, but temperatures will not be responding in kind. Through the rest of the day, winds will pick up, gusting to near 30mph at times, while temps fall into the afternoon. By sunset, we can expect temps to have already fallen into the low 40s.
Tonight: One of the coldest nights in some time awaits. Overnight lows will drop into the low to mid 20s. Given the winds will not be calm, wind chill values will be as low as 10°F to 15°F by daybreak. That's not a typo.
Christmas Eve: We wake up in the aforementioned 20s. A high temperature awaits in the low 40s for the day, with abundant sunshine and a brisk northerly wind. Given that combo, wind chill values will remain near freezing all day. It's going to be bitterly cold by our standards. Overnight into Christmas morning, an even colder night is possible. With calmer winds and clear skies, temps may fall even closer to the 20 degree mark. A few inland locations may scrape the upper teens. The "feels like" will once again be near 15 degrees.
Christmas Day: Another day in the 40s is forecast, once again under clear sunny skies. Winds will relax Christmas day, so it won't be as brutally cold, but still very much below normal for us. Another freeze is expected that night, once again into the mid to upper 20s.
We'll rebound through next week, but freezes are possible until at least Tuesday night.
Remember to protect your P's: Plants, Pets and Pipes. Most small plants are going to have to be inside to live, covering them up isn't going to be enough in this case. Please don't leave animals chained up in your yard in this weather. This cold is downright deadly. Finally, I would run a slight drip of water on an external faucet outside, and inside on one or two sinks. A good rule is to run a sink or tub faucet opposite of where your water supply goes into your house. You don't need much, just enough to keep water moving.
Also please remember to practice space heater safety. Every year homes are lost to space heater fires. They're dangerous if not used carefully.
Stay warm friends, this will be the 3rd coldest Christmas on record in NE Florida since people lived here.
And don't worry, we'll be back in shorts and flip flops by New Years.
Unreal cold across the Northern Plains associated with this airmass.
A station in Montana recorded a wind chill of -74°F last night at 3:22am local time.
Is that a US record? Nope, and not too close either surprisingly.
The all time continental US record wind chill was observed at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire on January 16th 2004. The observed temperature of -41.8°F combined with a wind of 87.4 mph, to produce a wind chill value of -102.6°F. That observation was taken at about 6,288 feet above sea level though.
Only two other times has a wind chill value near 100 or below been recored. The 2nd time was in February 2013 at Howard Pass Alaska, estimated between -99.8°F and -105°F, depending on correction for elevation.
The only other time came back in January of 1989, at McGrath Alaska, when the wind chill dropped right to -100°F. Interestingly enough in this case, the wind speed was only 7mph, combined with an air temperature at the time of -72°F.
As a side note, that cold blast in late January of '89 lead to an even colder outbreak in early February that pushed a historic cold snap all the way into Mexico City. That year would then see today's referenced December of '89 cold wave that next winter. Apparently 1989 wasn't the warmest time.
Elk Park, north of Butte along I-15, recorded a wind chill value of -74° last night at 3:22 AM.
On This Day in Weather History: The December 1989 Cold Wave. Aka: The Year it Snowed in Florida.
Unfortunately this year we're watching a similar event to what happened just before Christmas, on this day 33 years ago.
From December 22nd to 25th 1989, arctic air rushed across the Eastern 2/3rds of the US, crushing all time cold records, sending a snowstorm for the ages up the East Coast, and blasting Florida with sub-freezing temps clear to Miami.
A likely displacement of the Polar Vortex in Mid December of 1989 unleashed a series of cold fronts leading up to Christmas. On Dec 22nd, the most intense front of them moved into the Great Plains. A massive 1055mb high pressure system sprawled through the region, dropping temperatures down to -44°F in Nebraska, and also setting dozens to hundreds of all-time record lows. As the arctic air slipped southward into the Southeast US, a low pressure system spun up along the Gulf Coast, moving through Florida and up the East Coast. This low pressure mixed moist ocean air with record cold air, resulting in a record snowstorm.
Here in Jacksonville, Dec 22nd 1989 was very cold, about 15-20 degrees below average with a high of just 44 and increasing clouds. On the 23rd, the arctic air invaded, mixing with the easterly winds of the low. Measurable snow, sleet, and freezing rain would fall in this sub-tropical climate for just the 3rd time since 1900. Totals varied, but generally were around 1-2 inches, along with freezing rain and sleet. Live Oak and Mayport recorded 3 inches, which seemed to be the highest totals. Temperatures the night of the 23rd crashed into the low 20s, and barely broke above freezing on Christmas Eve the next day. This kept most of the snow around, and Christmas Day 1989 was Northern Florida's first, and only, "white Christmas" on record.
Snow flurries would go on to be reported down to Tampa and Daytona Beach. The subsequent freeze on Christmas Eve, into Christmas morning, showed shocking temperatures. 8°F north of Gainesville (High Springs), 11°F in Pensacola, 16°F in Jacksonville, 22°F in Orlando, 24°F in the Everglades, and 30°F in Miami. Every Florida county was declared a disaster area, as the state and residents are ill equipped to handle extreme cold, much like New England is not equipped for extreme heat. The Agriculture industry was shattered in Florida, including 30% losses of the Citrus Crop. This freeze, to go along with 1985's, combined to devastate generational farms, putting many out of business for good. This solidified the migration of the citrus crop further south, where it remains today.
Also, the same event spawned the Southeast's greatest coastal snow storm on record. A powerful low pressure would develop on the front, and the low would move up the east coast, dumping tremendous amounts of snow. Several counties inland in Georgia received 3-5 inches, coastal South Carolina received 8 inches to over a foot near the NC border. The peak of the event was around Wilmington, NC, where an astounding 17.5 inches of snow fell. A few towns nearby recorded almost two feet. Charleston SC set their all time lowest "high" temperature, at just 20°F during the day. Savannah, GA also set their coldest daily high in the 20th century.
Current satellite and temperature map.
Guess it's not hard to find the arctic front today.
One of the most prolific cold blasts of the last 30+ years invades the US today. Sets the stage for one of the coldest Christmas periods on record.
Stay safe traveling today and tomorrow friends. That low pressure is just getting cranking today. It'll be roaring tomorrow over the Great Lakes and Eastern US. Travel is going to be downright dangerous in some areas. Wind chills are going to be brutal. Hard freezes will extend deep into Texas and Florida. Everyone has something to deal with here, unless you live in California or Arizona lol.
We'll check in on the goings on, and remember "the day it snowed" in Florida, OTD in 1989 later on.
As we watch an exceptional Arctic Blast move out of the Upper Plains tonight, it's worth mentioning that today is also the 2022 Winter Solstice!
Today marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of astronomical winter. The winter solstice marks the point where Earth has tilted furthest away from the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and receives the lowest amount of radiation. From now until June we'll begin to add a minute or so of daylight each day, until the Summer Solstice.
Wondering why the solstice marks the start of winter, not the peak? That's because the Earth's atmosphere lags behind in terms of heating and cooling. This half of the Earth is still cooling, and will for several more weeks before the increase in solar energy begins to turn the tide. Imagine trying to heat or cool a bowl of soup with a hairdryer. It'll work, but it'll take some time, and the effect doesn't happen right away. Typically, Mid January is the coldest time of the year for the Lower 48, but full on arctic blasts can occur all the way into March.
Of note too, Meteorologists group seasons into 3 month intervals to better align with how the atmosphere actually responds to the solar changes. Winter runs December through February, roughly 3 weeks behind the astronomical counts.
Happy start of winter, cause it's sure as hell about to feel like it.
Some perspective on the incoming cold for NE Florida on Christmas.
This blast likely falls just short of 83 and 89, but it’ll top most other notable cold Christmas periods.
1983 was the coldest December in the lower 48 on record I believe.
1989 was the infamous “it snowed in Jacksonville” year, just a day before Christmas Eve.
Kinda puts into focus how outrageous this arctic blast is.
An incoming cold front 🌬️ will be bring several nights of cold temperatures❄️over this holiday weekend. With temperature lows expected to dip into the low to mid 20s across NE Florida, how will Christmas 2022 compare to Christmases past? 🎄
The cold air associated with this arctic blast is truly astonishing.
It's easily the coldest blast since the 1989 outbreak that brought snow all the way to Northern Florida. It's likely in the top couple all time. There's other factors like duration that go into the top cold snaps of all time. This one won't be particularly long. But intensity wise it's among the top ones ever.
-70°F wind chills are downright preposterous. That's not model output. That's a real forecast from the Cheyenne, WY NWS.
Still allot of coverage to come regarding our pre-Christmas storm system.
But looking beyond that, virtually the entire Lower 48 will see a snap back to warmer weather by New Year's.
This is fairly typical in the wake of Arctic outbreaks. Sometimes they do persist, but often once that cold air is blasted out, the atmosphere has to sort of "recharge" in a sense. The overall long-wave pattern also usually flips and moves on, leaving a typically warmer spell behind.
In this case, a fairly robust long wave ridge will build over the US as we work through the week after Christmas. Most of the super cold air will retreat back to the north pole and stay up for a little while. The GFS shows the next chance for a strong cold blast to come after New Years, maybe the first week of January.
We'll have the latest on the big system today, including a look at how this all shakes out for Northeast Florida in detail.
As we continue to track the pre-Christmas storm system moving in, it's really hard to understate what a travel nightmare this is going to be.
By the morning of the 23rd, you're going to have an extremely powerful storm system centered over the Midwestern US. Arctic air is going to be surging into much of the Eastern US, from the Rockies to the East coast in this period. This event is going to be exceptional on many fronts, and will cripple travel for millions of folks moving around for Christmas.
Flights are going to have to contend with a host of issues, not only on the ground due to visibility and icy runways, but in the air as well. The upper-level wind field accompanying this storm system is brutal. A belt of winds from Montana, down to Florida, and back up the coast will cause turbulence and stiff headwinds if you're traveling any component of westward Friday. Don't expect a clean flight anywhere besides California.
While snowfall totals aren't outrageously high anywhere in particular, many states are going to get a solid couple inches of snow. This will combine with high winds to create white out, blizzard conditions.
Flash freezing is also a concern further south. Basically the Tennessee Valley southward isn't going to see snow, but there's many folks who may get rain as the initial front comes in. That will be followed by a dramatic temperature drop. Many locations are going to drop from 40-50 degrees down into the 20s to teens in a matter of hours. This arctic air is downright frigid, and will be moving in a hurry. Icy roadways are going to make travel dangerous, even well away from where it's snowing Thursday and Friday night.
Please exercise considerable caution and foresight if you're going somewhere for Christmas. Friday is not going to be a good day to be in the air, or in a car, pretty much anywhere east of the Rockies. If you need to travel, your best bet is either before Thursday night, or on Saturday. East coasters can probably get away with Thursday, but much further west you'll already be in the suck.
Stay safe folks! We'll have more on the big Christmas storm this week as details come in!
An early look at Christmas spells blizzard like conditions and the coldest Christmas in years for most of the lower 48.
Across the US today, seasonably cool conditions dominate, after a couple days of wild weather this week across the Southeast US. As we look ahead into next week, it appears we're going to have a hell of a storm on our hands that may seriously impact pre-Christmas travel plans.
Later next week, a powerful storm system, accompanied by a full on arctic airmass, will pour out of Western Canada, into the Rockies, and surge across the US just before Christmas Weekend. This system will bring snow and rain to most of the US along and east of the Plains.
For now, the exact timing and track of the system remains to be seen. However, trends have shifted away from a coastal storm system, to a track more into the Central/Eastern US. This would shift the heaviest snow corridor away from the Mid-Atlantic/New England regions, back west to the Great Lakes and Midwest. The timing has also shifted back some. It now appears the heaviest weather will occur later on the 22nd, through much of the 23rd, and into early Christmas Eve, before things quiet down.
Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are possible from the Upper Mid-west, across the Great Lakes, and even into parts of the Appalachians. Further south, bitterly cold air will dive unusually far south, even to the Gulf Coast and Northern Florida. Virtually the entire US, save the West Coast states, will be well, to exceptionally below average for this time of year. This storm system will seriously hamper travel plans. I would pay close attention to flights, and plan for delays, or outright cancellations. If you want to be somewhere, I'd be there a few days earlier than expected, unless you're going to like, Miami or Los Angeles.
Here in NE Florida, we're going to see the front show up around Friday next week. Highs Christmas eve may not leave the 40s, and a widespread, hard freeze will be expected Friday night, Christmas Eve, and possibly the night after Christmas Day. For now, the early idea is a dry, cold Christmas weekend. A little warmer Christmas Day than eve, but you'll definitely be able to wear your sweaters.
We'll track this event closely, but we're now in the window where it's likely happening, just gotta figure out the details.
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