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    Elliot Abrams

    A Signal for Very Cold Weather?

    By Elliot Abrams, AccuWeather chief meteorologist
    1/04/2013, 6:25:45 AM

    Friday 10:30 a.m.

    So what's with the title? We believe the cold that has been in the Northeast this week will be replaced by milder air at times next week and perhaps beyond. Usually, after a January warmup, it gets cold again. But could there be a major cold outbreak? One idea I have discussed with you before is a signal high in the stratosphere. When the typical vortex near the pole at the 10mb level (1/100 the pressure at the ground) weakens dramatically or reverses to become a high pressure area, high latitude blocking patterns have tended to develop about 10-15 days later. The upper air currents are pushed south of normal, and sometimes a major cold wave will be unleashed.

    It is not clear whether such an event is likely to happen any time soon. However, something else has happened. During the last week, there has been major warming at the 10 mb level over Siberia. This map of the flow near the pole also has temperatures, and I have shown a representative temperature for a week ago and for last night. It has warmed more than 30 degrees Celsius in parts of that area (54 degrees F). Some long-range forecasters believe that such a change is a signal that precedes major cold outbreaks about 10-15 days later, but things get a little more murky after that. Where will the cold outbreak occur? Will it be in the northeastern U.S., where my report is focused... or somewhere else? Ah hah... that's a major question, isn't it? For now, I'll say this: if it does become dramatically colder in a couple of weeks,you can recall that I brought this up two weeks in advance. If it doesn't happen, well...


    In the shorter range, this video offers an explanation and forecast:

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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