I’ve been talking a little bit about our weekend luck as of late. In fact this winter we have yet to see a weekend go by without temperatures either Saturday or Sunday hitting 40 degrees. Yesterday in fact several viewers asked if we could keep this mild weather around for the entire winter season. Well to answer the question no, there’s going to be some cold spells over the next 6 weeks and in fact the next cold blast is beginning to really come into focus. It will begin on Thursday and while temperatures will be up and down over the next 7 days it looks like several days will flirt with the coldest weather of the season. Snow also continues to mostly be hit or miss during this period but there are a couple of times where we could see some significant snow on the 15 day outlook. That’s a first for this season as we haven’t seen much and models haven’t forecast that much.
Before the next cold spell hits we will be looking at temperatures remaining mild. It was another pleasant day yesterday with highs in the upper 40s and clear skies. Today will have more cloud cover but the same basic results as temperatures will once again hit the 40s. Monday will likely be a mirror day of today and a slow warming trend will occur with winds out of the south Tuesday and Wednesday.
While Wednesday will be nice, we will start to see the big changes expected during this time period. A large dip of the jet stream will mean another cold blast of air. We continue to see the absence of a strong Greenland blocking high, which is a key reason why we have just not been able to maintain cold temperatures this year. Generally the Greenland High forces the jet stream to kink over the Great Lakes, especially during La Nina years like this year. This forces cold air south and mixed with an active Southern Jet means a colder and wetter season. No Greenland High means air will not consistently run colder, so instead of snow we get rain. That’s been the case this year. We’ve seen a couple of rainy periods this winter but the cold air has always arrived just behind the moisture. We will likely see some snow as temperatures cool rapidly from the 50s on Wednesday to teens on Friday. Also expect to see another big lake effect snow period for places along the southeast banks of Lake Michigan.
As we get back to the extended forecast we get a big kink in the jet stream beginning on Thursday and stretching into Saturday. Looking at model run temperatures for next week it appears the cold air will stick around for the week, making next week (15th – 21st) the coldest week yet this season. It also looks like real snow chances finally arrive with a couple of days of decent snow possible. Nothing, right now, looks like it would be enough to issue winter storm warnings.