Arctic to Rain to Ice, What's Next?

Published 01/06 2014 09:39AM

Updated 01/06 2014 09:56AM

Temps/Wind Chills/Conditions
Temps/Wind Chills/Conditions/SkyTracker Weather
From Meteorologist Steve Glazier,


That was my thought in between my weather hits Monday morning on Abc22 and Fox44 morning news. I watched as the temperature rose from 38F at the beginning of our Abc broadcast to 49F at the end (5-7 a.m.). I received a viewer e-mail from a gentleman in Shelburne saying "I realize the temperature at the Burlington airport says 42 degrees but it is 31 degrees here and my whole development is covered in ice."

Then I thought back to Friday morning's newscast. This Monday was the first morning I was back relaying the weather to the viewers, since my previous on-air day Friday when I was broadcasting a Colchester temp of -9F!

So what's going on? The jet stream. Coupled with a previously-positive North Atlantic Oscillation, a high pressure to our southeast, and a low pressure moving through the St. Lawrence Valley, the jet stream has taken some huge north-south turns. The jet stream is the river of air high above the ground that steers storm systems and separates cold and warm air. It generally runs west to east in the northern hemisphere. However at times it takes a plunge south, or a rise north. We happen to experience numerous occasions in less than a week. Thursday and Friday's record cold temperatures were followed by a significant warming trend Saturday, whereas Massena, NY rose 50 degrees in a day! That was followed by a half-inch of rainfall in the Champlain Valley Monday, then (as I type this Monday morning) it will be followed by another dip in the jet stream and wind chills near -20F come Tuesday and Wednesday.

Another cold blast of air will move from the Midwest into New England Tue-Wed. To our west, Minnesota was experiencing -50s for the wind chill Monday morning. By the time the air mass moves here, it will moderate to about -10s and -20F, except -30s in the mountains above 3,000' elevation. But don't get used to that. Another warm up will come Saturday, January 11 with potentially mixed precipitation.

The typical 'January thaw' appears to return again this year as it has in past years. Here's a link to the Climate Prediction Center where the forecast office is predicting above average temperatures January 11-15, possibly extending through January 19.

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