Watching the Russian Bear...UPDATED 9 December, 2008

UPDATE: 9 December 2008

The signal in the models continues to "waffle" and delay the Russian cold episode, so It's going to be a few days before there are any more posts to this blog. Check back Friday...hopefully a trend will have established itself one way or the other by then. In the meantime, this current cold outbreak is no slouch. Stay warm!

Take Care,




There remains a possibility of major cold moving into the United States early next week; there continues to be major disagreement among the models and the time frame looks to be more in the Dec 14-16 range if it happens at all. Meanwhile, cold air can be expected to dominate Tuesday through Thursday of this week, but this is more of the garden variety "polar" air and will be cold, but nowhere near any records. Stay warm and stay tuned!

UPDATE: 5 December 2008

A question from Bonham asked about how many "forecast models" are available.  For longer ranges, there are many: The ECMWF, the GFS, the NOGAPS, the UKMET, the Canadian, and many more. The most accessible and dependable ones for North America (in my experience) are the first three on the list.

As I mentioned in my blog, there's no promise this will happen and perhaps I opened a can of worms by even mentioning it. Nevertheless, since there's some chance and a suggestion in the model output that a cross-polar flow may develop around December 12, I said "what the heck?" and threw it out here for your enjoyment and interest.

The latest GFS run suggests late in the week (Dec 12-13) will be the time to see this evolve. This is somewhat consistent from the past two days' outputs but of course it's WAY early to say it's even 50% certain. Stay tuned...-:)

=============Original Thoughts===================

4 December, 2008

American meteorologists turn their attention northward this time of year; hurricane season has fizzled, while bitterly cold arctic air deepens over the sunless (or nearly so) lands north of the Arctic Circle.  In this case, an extremely frigid air mass with temperatures of 40-60 below is parked over northeastern Siberia as of December 3.

Some of the atmospheric circulation models press this big blob of cold across the polar ice cap and down into North America. The time frame for this cold to possibly affect Texoma would be sometime next week, so we’re certainly too far out to be confident of this occurrence.

Nevertheless, the Russian Bear is showing signs of making a winter run our way…and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with this one for the period December 10-13.
Since there’s a chance this may come to pass, I thought it worthy of at least a blog!

UPDATE: Since there's been a bit of confusion regarding this blog, I've posted a map to help simplify the concept. Basically, this is a situation where very cold air develops during the long Arctic nights and then surges southward, driven by upper level winds. Sometimes, when this air comes from Siberia, it can be especially cold!

Take Care,
Steve LaNore
Chief Meteorologist

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