Elliot Abrams

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Decidedly Un-December-Like

December 3, 2012; 9:49 AM ET

Monday 10 AM

It's getting very cold in Alaska, Yesterday's high of -29 and low of -35 at Fairbanks made the day come out 30 degrees below average. However, the low temperature was not a record; it dropped to -46 On Dec. 2, 1906.

So far, there is no mechanism for bringing that cold air south to the Midwest and Northeast regions. In fact, it will feel like springtime this afternoon and tomorrow across much of the area. Cold air will intrude for the Great Lakes region tomorrow night and throughout the Northeast on Wednesday. However, it is not an extremely cold air mass, and temperatures will moderate to close out the week.

Some research on correlations between weather patterns high in the stratosphere and subsequent cold waves in the Midwest and Northeast has shown that when the polar vortex weakens or even reversed to a high pressure area, cold blasts are more likely a week or two later. We do not have such a signal yet, but for the first time this season there are some changes taking place. A high pressure area has developed at the 10 mb level (where pressures are only 1 percent of their values at the ground) on the Siberian side of the North Pole; the vortex has been displaced a bit and shows weak signs of splitting. This could be the first stage in the development of a clear signal... but it may turn out to be no big deal. I'll keep you posted. The following two maps show the change.

This map is from Nov. 25.

This map is for the night of Dec. 2. Note how a high pressure area has produced a bulge on the left side of the map.

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About This Blog

Elliot Abrams
Elliot Abrams from AccuWeather.com offers this Northeast Weather Blog for the U.S. with regular updates on NE weather from a leading forecaster and meteorologist.