Most of the freezing air that we saw in November has taken a vacation for the month of Christmas. The Midwest and East had a stormy holiday and more rain than snow. But, there will be a change in the pattern and the cold weather will definitely be returning through the last week of 2014.
Winter Storm Eris, which has been the second system this week to impact the Rockies and Upper Midwest, will be the cause of the cold snap that we will experience during the New Year.
The southwestern states will even feel the chill and freeze warnings have been posted near the Phoenix area for Saturday morning as the temperatures were expected to drop below or near the freezing point. An even colder blast of arctic air is predicted to move into the Rockies, Plains, Great Basin, Upper Midwest on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Some of the longer-range forecasts state that the cold air may eventually make its way to the Deep South and the Northeast in time for the New Year.
Here is a breakdown of the next week:
The Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and northern/central Rockies will experience highs in the single digits and teens. Parts of the Ohio Valley, mid-Mississippi Valley, and Southern Plains will see subfreezing highs on Tuesday into Wednesday. The Northern Plains will then see subzero lows as well as the central Rockies. And as far as record cold highs, it is possible in Denver, Pueblo, Lubbock, and Dallas.
As we move into next week, a mass of higher pressure will diver the jet stream that is located north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska and Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories, then southward into the Lower 48 states.
This is a classic pattern, and usually when it is warmer in Alaska, it is much colder in the Lower 48. The West Coast has been unusually mild for this time of year as well. Seattle averaged about 6.8 degrees warmer than average for the first three weeks of December, and they also recorded its 19th consecutive warmer than average day Monday. If the forecast temperatures predicted for Seattle prove correct, it will be the warmest December on record at Sea-Tac Airport.
The U.S has already broken 4,531 daily warm records (record daily highs or warm daily lows) from December 1st to December 24th, compared to about 268 daily cold records.