Stratosphere temperature update
Changes in stratospheric temperatures near the polar region of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) can have important impacts to winter season temperatures in the middle latitudes such as in the central and eastern parts of US. Specifically, if the polar vortex (an area filled with low temperatures compared to its surroundings) is weakened or displaced, it could set off a chain of events that unleashes cold air masses from the high latitudes into the middle latitudes. Indeed, temperatures have been rising in the NH polar stratosphere during the past couple of weeks and indications are that significant stratospheric warming will take place right near the North Pole by early February. In addition, the polar vortex is likely to be displaced to a region in the North Atlantic by early February. This unfolding upper atmosphere event needs to be monitored in coming days as it can have an important impact on temperatures across the US later in February and perhaps even into the month of March.
Upcoming storm threats for the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast US
The region between a developing trough of low pressure (cold) over the central states and ridge of high pressure (warm) over the Southwest Atlantic will act as a conduit for the passage of two storm systems next week from southwest-to-northeast. The first system will bring precipitation to the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor from later Sunday into Monday and a second system is likely to arrive at mid-week. As has been the case all winter, it’ll be a struggle to get enough cold air in place for accumulating snow in the immediate I-95 corridor, but each system still needs to be closely monitored.
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