Thursday 10 a.m.
Cold air has settled into the Northeast, and single-digit temperatures were common from the middle of Pennsylvania to much of New England this morning. At Saranac Lake, N.Y., the temperature dropped to 24 degrees below zero! Tomorrow will not be as cold as today in most of the that area, but it will be moderately cold for the weekend and Monday from the Great Lakes through most of the Northeast.
Next week, it appears we will head into a much more variable setup that averages warmer than this week. THE January Thaw typically occurs late in the month when there is one. However, I guess any time it warms up in January after a cold shot could be called a January thaw.
There is a disturbance causing some snow and ice in western Texas today. (It was snowing in El Paso at midmorning.) The computer models have consistently shown this as a weak feature when it moves through the Northeast Saturday night. I am concerned it may be a little stronger than shown on this video:
This forecast map for Saturday shows a setup somewhat similar to what we had last night. There was a bubble of high pressure over eastern Canada, with a larger high farther south (this high will be stronger Saturday than it is today). This arrangement would favor very cold air over central and northern New England and northern New York state on Saturday.
A cold front from the Midwest will reach the East Coast Wednesday. In the meantime, a large pocket of unseasonably cool air aloft will spread eastward. It will interact with the very warm and humid in place in the I-95 corridor to cause rounds of drenching showers and thunderstorms between today and Wednesday.
map shows predicted rainfall between now and next Wednesday. This will need to be watched in order to assess the risk of flooding.
Looking farther ahead, it appears a summer version of THE POLAR VORTEX will send much cooler air into the Great Lakes and then the Northeast. The first map shows the flow aloft next Tuesday night. The second map shows what could be a heat wave a week and a half later!
There were numerous thunderstorms yesterday. This is the lightning stroke map covering the period from 8 ET yesterday morning to 7:30 ET this morning. Thunderstorms will be less numerous today, but any that do form can cause briefly strong and gusty winds.
One area of concern is Lake Erie, where unprepared boaters could suddenly be blasted by 60-mph winds. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has outlined a large area where the threat of strong wind exists. The map is below today's forecast video.
Tomorrow, a cold front will cross the Great Lakes, then reach the Northeast by the end of Wednesday. Today, a southwesterly current of very warm air is evident on the surface pressure map.