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Wave on Arctic Front Dumps Snow, Pulls Bitter Cold Back Into Pattern

January 20, 2014; 11:44 AM

Monday, 11:55 a.m.

Today's post will be rather brief. The arctic air is coming once again, and while it will not be as bitter in the absolute sense as the outbreak two weeks ago, it will be longer lasting, and have several attacks to it. The first of these is currently moving into the Upper Midwest and northern Great Lakes, as well as across northern New England. South of the boundary, it's mild, with temperatures in the 30s, and above normal for the date. Where the sun is out this afternoon from southeastern New England to the mid-Atlantic, it will hit the 40s, and some places will reach 50 and beyond! Enjoy it, because those readings might not be achieved for the remainder of January!

There will be a wave of low pressure along this front too. That disturbance has been generating some light snow this morning across parts of the Dakotas and into southern and western Minnesota. As the afternoon progresses, that snow will spread across northern and eastern Iowa into northern Illinois, and by morning the snow will have spread across the Ohio Valley to the spine of the Appalachians. By then, the area of low pressure along this arctic front will redevelop over southwestern Virginia, and the storm will head for the Virginia capes by late afternoon.

Now this storm will deepen as it moves eastward tomorrow, and as that happens it will pull the arctic air into it from the north, while at the same time spreading moisture back into the cold air across Virginia, Maryland, southern Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. It will also spread across southeastern New York and Long Island tomorrow afternoon, and all of southern New England. The storm will bomb out tomorrow night southeast of Cape Cod, deepening enough to throw snow all the way up into southern Maine. When all is said and done, while not a big storm, there will be a nice blanket of white over a large area. Here's the 48-hour QPF forecast from the NAM model from this afternoon through midday Wednesday:

Here's our latest snow fall forecast at

As the wave departs, the arctic air will push farther south and east, so that Wednesday will be brutally cold from the Midwest to the East Coast. Look at the projected departures for Wednesday:

Another upper-level disturbance will move into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes by Wednesday, and there will be another reinforcing shot of cold air behind it. The cold will likely ease this weekend, only for another strong cold front to come down the pike this weekend. The air mass behind that front will be bitterly cold yet again, though it might not be quite as penetrating to the Gulf Coast. Nevertheless, it will keep the week well below normal from the northern Plains and Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and New England!

By the way, counting today, 59 days until spring.

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About This Blog

Joe Lundberg
Joe Lundberg, a veteran forecaster and meteorologist, covers both short and long-term U.S. weather on this blog.