Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winds of Chilly Change Blowing In

After a fall that seemingly never wanted to end and a winter that didn't want to start, temperatures are now showing signs of becoming much more winter-like.   The  rest of this week and this weekend will still have mild moments to them (temperatures in the 40's and 50's going out through Sunday) but a cold front will slice those temperatures down in a major way on Sunday evening.

Next week is shaping up as pretty cold -- not true "arctic" air in the sense that will have glaciers advancing upon  I-95 but cold enough to remind you the calender says January -- as temperatures will struggle to get much above freezing on Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and perhaps Wednesday.   Monday could feature falling temperatures during the day, accompanied by a rather stiff northwest and west breeze that could gust to 40 mph.   Sounds similar to yesterday, doesn't it?  Well, computer modeling is suggesting a pretty breezy, chilly setup for the Winter Classic and has been relatively consistent the past day or so in suggesting a cold day.   Don't be surprised if Monday's high ends up being a Midnight high, with temperatures in the 30's during the game and wind chills below freezing.

For those longing for the phantom storm that the Euro computer model showed a few days ago you'll need to long and hope a lot more for it to happen.  The relatively faster northern branch of the jet (the one bringing the cold shot in on Monday) is simply coming in too fast and will be a bit too powerful to allow storm genesis near the East Coast.   What was allowing the system to show up on the Euro was the fact that the mid level trough was slower in arrival, which the model was suggesting a rather mild Monday, transitional Tuesday, storm Tuesday night into Wednesday a few days back.  The Euro has caught onto the Sunday cold front idea that the GFS was suggesting consistently for a while.  The GFS has nudged to a more significant cold shot that reaches farther into the Southeast than prior runs; however, the timing of this front and the trough is such that an East Coast storm couldn't happen as the Euro model depicted.   This isn't to say a storm won't develop out in the Atlantic and that it could graze Maine or Massachusetts -- that possibility is certainly on the table and both the GFS and Euro suggest that the low develops farther out in the Atlantic (300 miles east of Cape Cod).  However, you would need the trough to slow in its arrival by about a day or the secondary disturbance aloft that triggers the storm to fire up in the Atlantic to arrive about a day sooner than what the models are projecting for this storm to pop along the coast.   Right now, that doesn't seem likely.