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10-Day Outlook: Slooowly Sliding back into Winter?

Josh Larson @ 9:00 AM

Today's Forecast

Today will feature a blend of clouds and sun with highs in the lower 50s -- nearly 15 degrees above average for January 19. Remaining mostly clear tonight, with mild overnight lows in the mid to upper 30s in most locations -- about 10 degrees above average.

Pattern Overview

There are clear indications that we are in the beginning stages of a GRADUAL PATTERN CHANGE that will eventually (by February 1) give way to much colder, and potentially snowy, weather. However, the weather over the next 10 days will not rapidly give way to below-normal temperatures or wintry weather; instead, we're likely to see a gradual step-down from temperatures some 10-15 degrees above normal over the next five days, to temperatures some 5 degrees above normal the following five days, to below normal temperatures thereafter. With a negative Arctic Oscillation and several other atmospheric patterns eventually becoming more favorable for cold east of the Rockies, we'll see the jet stream slowly evolve from a "trough west/ridge east" pattern to a "ridge west/trough east pattern" by late this month.

Above: Quite warm over the next three days as we see a strong southwesterly flow around the western side of an unusually strong Bermuda High.

The next 5 days (Jan 19-23)
Forecast highs/lows: 55/37 (normal = 42/27)
Forecast precip: near normal

If you think that today's high temperatures in the mid 50s are warm, just wait until tomorrow and Saturday; we're likely to see high temperatures flirt with, or, in some locations, eclipse, the 60 degree mark both days (with overnight lows near 40). Friday, like today, will be dry and will feature plenty of sunshine. Saturday, however, will feature mostly cloudy skies with a few scattered showers in spots, bringing no more than .10" of rainfall. Sunday will feature a mix of clouds and sun with cooler temperatures near 50 for highs with lows near 32. A touch cooler on Monday, though weather is expected to remain dry; expect highs near 47 with lows near 32.

The following 5 days (Jan 19-23)
Forecast highs/lows: 48/32 (normal = 43/27)
Forecast precip: near normal

Most models suggest that the step-down to a return of true wintry weather will continue during the following five days; temperatures will average about 5 degrees above normal for the week: mostly in the mid 40s for highs, though a few days may feature highs in the upper 40s to near 50. Overnight lows will be cooler, too, and will generally range from the mid 20s to lower 30s in most spots. As for precipitation, several models hint at an East Coast storm during the Tuesday/Wednesday period of next week; while there is significant model disagreement regarding the track of the area of low pressure, and the extent of cold air, at this point it appears that this storm will be either an all-rain affair; one model hints at the possibility of some mixed precipitation or snow, however...

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball
Next Chance of Snow: Tue/Wed, Jan 24/25
Probability: 15%
Potential Impact:

Commentary: If the storm system that looks to push from the southern Plains to the East by Tuesday takes a more southerly/easterly track, and a secondary coastal storm develops, then we have a shot at some wet snow or mixed precipitation these days; if the storm system takes a more northerly/westerly track then we will likely see an all rain event.

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