Weekly Outlook: January 1-7, 2018

Well, 2018 is certainly starting on a rather chilly note. Believe it or not, before the week is out, it could get worse. We also may be dealing with a storm that could impact part of the region later in the week, but as we went into detail with last week, the models have not been very reliable with forecasts beyond 72 hours, so don’t believe the hype yet.

GFS WC 12zMon
Wind chills will be brutally cold if you’re out and about first thing in the morning on New Year’s Day. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

 

The week (and year) starts off the way the last one ended – with arctic high pressure keeping temperatures well below normal. Since we’ll still have a little bit of wind, wind chills will range from 10 to 25 below zero Monday morning. A weak disturbance may bring in a few clouds tonight, but then temperatures will start to moderate a bit for Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh, it’ll still be cold, just not ridiculously cold.

After that, we turn our attention to the potential for an ocean storm on Thursday. Many of the models are forecasting a rather powerful storm to develop off the East Coast and head north-northeastward, passing offshore, possibly well offshore. Obviously, the track will be critical in determining what impacts this system may have on the region.

gefs_slp_lows_east_16
There’s still a fairly wide range in solutions for the track of our mid-week storm system, as shown by the various members of the GFS Ensemble. Image provided by WeatherBell.

 

A track fairly close to the coast could result in heavy snow, possibly even changing to rain along the shoreline. A track well offshore could result in a miss entirely, or possibly just some snow right along the coast. Just as we said last week, we just can’t answer these questions yet. The upper-level energy that will help produce this system is still out over the Pacific Ocean, where observations are sparse. We do know this – because the storm is expected to be large, we will almost certainly be dealing with gusty winds, no matter how close the storm gets. Also, the middle of the week will feature some of the highest astronomical tides of the month, so some coastal flooding will be a possibility, especially along northeast and north-facing shorelines. As things come into sharper focus over the next few days, we’ll have a special blog post if there is a threat of the storm having a significant impact on the region.

gefs_snow_ens_neng_21
Even among the 21 members of the GFS Ensemble, there is a wide range in snowfall potential from the late-week storm system, ranging from zero in many cases, up to a foot or more in at least 1 or 2 of the solutions. Until these start to converge on a solution, any of them could be right. Image provided by WeatherBell.

 

Once the system pulls away, strong north to northwest winds behind it will usher another arctic blast into the region. This blast has the potential to be even colder than the current one, especially if we have fresh snow cover after Thursday.

us_model-en-087-0_modez_2018010100_132_519_218
Subzero lows are possible across much of the region again next weekend. Image provided by Weather.us

 

New Year’s Day: Mostly sunny and cold. High 6-13.

Monday night: Variably cloudy. Low -3 to +4.

Tuesday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 12-19.

Tuesday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 6-13.

Wednesday: Partly sunny. High 24-31.

Thursday: Cloudy and breezy with a chance of snow. High 26-33.

Friday: Partly sunny and breezy, and frigid again. High 6-13.

Saturday: Mostly sunny, breezy, and bitterly cold. High 1-8.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, breezy, and frigid. High 8-15.

cfs_anom_t2m_conus_2017123118_m2
Longer-range models, including the CFS (pictured), show the month of January having well below normal temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of the nation. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s