I’m (still) forecasting two fronts to move by during Jan 17-21; one on Mon-Tue and the second one Thursday.
Both of these fronts will have cold Canadian air behind them; the second one could tap into some arctic air but that is somewhat uncertain at this point.
It will be quite windy behind both systems as the low-level winds map shows for Front #1 on Tuesday.
Front #2 presents more of a forecast challenge: The FNMOC brings in arctic air behind it for Thursday, while the GFS shows a cold front with a less pronounced chill:
The ECMWF has been the most accurate all winter on fronts and cold air intensity, and it has been rather consistent the past two days regarding these systems. It is in between the GFS and FNMOC temperature solutions, so I guess I’m guilty of “splitting the difference” this time!
The ECMWF shows the air behind Thursday’s front to be colder than Tuesday’s but not as cold as the Jan 9-13 period:
The GFS is the least trustworthy model this go-round; it generally does quite poorly in the 4-6 day time frame only to “lock in” on the more likely solution inside of 72 hours. The GFS does not resolve shallow cold air masses well and this can be an Achilles’ heel for it during the winter months.
One caveat: over-trusting the models can get you into a bad forecast really fast. Today’s Canadian analysis shows -40-degree air over the Northwestern Territories, even colder than what wound up in Texoma this week. Therefore, a day-to-day monitoring of trends will be needed to see if we’re too optimistic on the kind of cold we’ll get for next week.
So we’ll hide and watch….and I will update this blog from home later this weekend (Sunday).
Have a Great Weekend!