Wednesday, January 28, 2015

...and Now for Something Completely Different

The big news in the weather world this week, of course, has been the huge nor'easter that dumped three feet of snow on eastern Massachusetts, and not so much on New York City. There's plenty to read about that on the web right now, so I'd like to focus on  another weather "event" that has been taking place this week in the central and western U.S. - warm weather.

Temperatures the last few days have been more than 20°F above normal throughout the Central and Northern Plains, and and 10°F to 15°F above normal across the western U.S.

High temperatures have been running 18°F to 25°F above normal from Oklahoma north to the Dakotas and Montana. Low temperatures have been 10°F to 25°F above normal across the same area.

High temperatures yesterday were in the upper 70s and low 80s in Oklahoma and Kansas and in the low 70s as far north as South Dakota. Hard to believe it's late January.  There were 138 max temp records broken and 24 tied on January 26, and more were likely recorded on January 27 but weren't yet available at the time of this writing.

Maximum temperatures for January 27, 2015.

The reason for the warm weather is a strong upper level ridge over the western U.S., a complement to the trough over the eastern U.S. associated with the nor'easter. The ridge trough pattern is clearly evident in this water vapor satellite image from January 27.

Water vapor image at 6:45 a.m. CST January 27, 2015

Residents of the Central and Northern Plains should enjoy the warm weather while it lasts, because it wont last long. A surge of cold air will spread south across the Plains and Midwest this weekend, and by early next week it will definitely feel like it's February.

The 6 to 10 day outlook issued on January 28 for the period February 3-7, 2015.


  1. Historical weather data has always fascinated me especially during my 31 year career with the airlines. Every morning I woke up to the weather channel since weather impacted my job. I think I should come back in my next life as a meteorologist. ;) Interesting blog. Glad CoCoRaHS shared your blog.

  2. Thanks! Hope you continue to follow it.