There has been one spike in stratospheric temperatures that lasted from late November into mid-December and a second burst occurred during the early and middle parts of January. It is this second episode of stratospheric warming that supports the notion of a pattern change to colder-than-normal beginning around the middle of February across the central and eastern US as there is usually a lag time of several weeks (4-6) for an impact on temperature patterns across the US. Looking ahead, there are strong signs for another burst of stratospheric warming later this month that can result in a “splitting” of the polar vortex which is likely tom extend the colder pattern into the month of March.
Any storm threats?
n terms of upcoming storm threats in the central or eastern US, there are signs for a storm system to accompany the front-end of the transition in the temperature pattern early next week. Odds favor an “inland” track early next week which would take a low pressure system to the Great Lakes region and limit snowfall potential to the Upper Midwest/western Great Lakes. If this were to take place in this fashion, the colder air mass would then reach the eastern states on the heels of this system by the middle of next week.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian
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