Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bubble On The Move, Good News In The Northwest

Check out Minnesota this morning, BRRRRR!!!

The bubble of cold air that sat over Alaska for so long finally moved. For you regular blog followers, we've been talking about the possibility of this happening since January 2. You can click the above picture for a closer view.

Is there still some bitterly cold air over Alaska? Of course -- it's Alaska after all!

But the core of that large air mass has made it all the way to Minnesota and south-central Canada. Here is a list of some lows on Tuesday, January 13, including a new record at International Falls!

ORR -33
ORR 3E -37
COOK -36

Interested in a little snow climatology for your area? The National Climate Data Center has a great interactive section of their web site where you can get just that.
Click here.

And GOOD NEWS for our dear friends in Washington and Oregon! You will have the next 5 to 7 days to dry out. Check out this monster ridge of high pressure building over your area.

This link, click here, is an animated forecast model for the next 180 hours.

You are looking at the GFS (Global Forecast Systems model).

I plotted the 500 mb winds, which is roughly the jet stream level, approx. 20,000 feet above sea level.

The west has a nice, dry and fairly warm stretch of weather in store thanks to a high that will pretty much sit near Seattle and Portland through the weekend.

The nice thing about a high is the great, quiet weather -- and they need to dry out something fierce after weeks of heavy rain and snow.

But the bad thing about a high is you get sinking air below it, so it can be bad if an area is prone to air pollution because there is little movement of the air (wind) below a high pressure.

Back to the forecast model -- in the very last few frame you can see that ridge of high pressure (look just above Washington) start to flatten out and buckle as the next period of unsettled weather moves into the region.

The east will stay in the chiller, with off and on rain or snow showers, and just plain unsettled weather through the weekend due to the large trough of low pressure aloft at the jet stream level.

And finally, a big Happy 21st birthday to my little sister today! She is currently on a plane that she has been flying as a passenger off and on for the past 48 hours!

She works as a civilian for the US Army in Iraq and she is coming home for R&R. The flight left Kuwait for Germany, Germany for Atlanta, currently enroute to Dallas and sometime today she will finally get a catch a commercial flight into Little Rock.

Their World Airways flight experienced a variety of mechanical delays on the journey from Kuwait -- making for a long trip and 3 days in the same clothing without a shower!


  1. My local forecast says"Thursday
    Sunny. Highs 5 to 10 below. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Lowest wind chill readings 45 below to 50 below zero in the morning.Yikes!Very rare to get that cold here in NE Iowa

  2. It has been a while that our part of Missouri has had below 0 temperatures.

    This is from the NWS in St. Louis:
    "It has been over 10 years since St. Louis recorded a temperature below zero. This is the longest duration in the history of the station of not reaching below zero temperatures."

    I really want to try to make the "instant cloud" trick that Chris posted last month, but I don't think we'll get cold enough.