UPDATE: Mon 21 Feb 2011 / 3:20p.m.
Today's forecast update provides a good example of how model forecasts are guides and not guarantees. Colder weather is still expected to move in Friday with a secondary surge Sunday. but it doesn't look to be as frigid as indicated a few days ago. Of course this may flip-flop back the other way, but the steering winds are trending less favorable for an outbreak of severe cold. Here's the map which goes along with ths idea:
UPDATE: Fri 18 Feb 2011/ 5:45p.m.
The ECMWF (European) model has performed in a very consistent way with each arctic invasion this winter, and it’s continuing a trend of much colder weather by next weekend. Ice or snow potential continues to be uncertain…but the trends continue to suggest we’re not done with winter’s cold just yet. Here's the map for this Friday post. Notice the pink-to-orange zone which indicates very cold air on this color scale:
Thu 17 Feb 2010 / 5:30p.m.
This blog projects ahead to the last few days of February: It looks as though a fresh shot of Canadian air may arrive to round out what’s been a crazy weather month.
Expect temperatures to remain mild with highs in the 60s to low 70s through the 21st. They will drop to more typical February numbers by Tuesday behind a moderately strong frontal passage.
The much colder weather may show up by Feb 25-26th. This is based on the past few days’ worth of model trends, although we’re still “on the edge” time-wise. I’m assigning this outlook low to moderate confidence until we get a little closer in time.
The mid-level steering pattern is expected to temporarily revert to more of a north-south flow by the end of next week, and this taps into some chilly arctic air once again (discussion continues below map):
The main thrust of the air would come right down the central Plains so it could be rather cold with overnight lows in the 20s, and highs in the 30s or 40s depending on cloud cover. It remains to be seen whether this is a one-shot deal or another extended cold wave; it’s too early to say much beyond what may happen next weekend.
A couple of factors work against this event being as cold as earlier in the month:
1) All of the snowcover in Kansas and Nebraska has melted
2) It will be nearly a month later into the winter (compared to the Feb 1 event), so the days are a bit longer and the sun slightly higher in the sky…making the cold potential more moderate.
I will update this blog Friday and Monday with my latest thoughts…in the meantime enjoy the mild weather for a few more days!