Much colder air on the way for early December

Cbus Weather Nerd

Columbus (WCMH) – With two days in a row hovering around 60 degrees, we are going to have to really enjoy the next week of mild temps.

As of this morning, we were running about 1.9° below normal for the month of November, but today, tomorrow, and Thursday should all help push the monthly average to just under 0.9° below normal for the entire month.A big ridge in the jet stream produced warm temps in the east today:

The jet stream has been nearly zonal heading through the holiday weekend.  When the jet is zonal, it is west to east, and is rather flat, usually meaning very quiet weather for us.

Notice in the graphic below, the jet stream does have a bit of a dip to the west, over the Rockies, but to the east, we have had a ridge building (a bubble of warm air from the south).

This has allowed us to be on the favorable side of the jet, with much warmer than normal temperatures.

But our really favorable pattern is going to slowly break down, as is the usual especially this time of the year as we are nearing the unofficial start of Winter (December 1st).

Looking up to the north, you notice we already have a lot of cold air bottled up with high temperatures at or below zero (0) in Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories in Canada this afternoon.  Even parts of inner Alaska did not crack above zero this afternoon.

Globally, you notice the coldest air is actually over parts of northern Russia where high temperatures were only in the -40s this afternoon!  Let that sink in, the warmest temperatures were in the low to middle NEGATIVE forties.

What is going to happen over the next 7 to 10 days, is a ridge will start to build up towards Alaska and through the west coast of the US.  But when you have this big ridge buckling north, on the back side, a deep trough will cover most of the middle and eastern half of the country, and this means colder air.

In fact, this will allow the cold air (in map above) in Alaska, the Arctic Sea, and northern Canada to slide south towards the northern US border.Look what happens later next week….

The jet stream takes that more dramatic dip and much colder air slips down into the US.  We could have temperatures by late next week running 10 to 15 degrees below normal for early December.

I think with the jet far enough to the south, we will be mainly cold, and dry later next week, and next weekend as well.  I think it is possible that we will see some lake effect snow up by Lake Erie late next week with a northwesterly wind off the warmer lake waters.

Here I think we can expect highs back into the 30s, and lows potentially the coldest of the season, falling into the teens by the end of next week and next weekend.  This is a longer range look, so a lot of little things could tweak the forecast a bit between now and then… but I would really enjoy the warmer than normal temperatures while we have them.

Below are the 6-10 and 8-14 day temperature outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA:

Notice in the 6-10 day outlook, the eastern half of the country, is still showing above normal temperatures.  This is mainly front loaded on the first few days of this outlook window, because by days 8, 9, and 10, we should start to see colder air returning with below normal temperatures.  It is also important to note, the above normal trend in Alaska.

In the 8-14 day outlook, you will still notice the warmer than normal surge up the west coast and up to Alaska, and the much better chances for colder than normal temperatures in the eastern half of the country.  Interestingly, we are projected in this outlook to be at or below normal for precipitation as well.  That might yield at least some snow in our area for 2nd week – mid December.

Does this story seem familiar at all?

Remember the last week of November last year which flip flopped from above to below and above, then finished really warm.  Then the first week of December in 2016 was around normal for temperatures through the 6th.  Then all of a sudden Winter got angry, and spent the next 10 days punishing us with crazy cold below normal temperatures.  This included a high one day of only 14, and lows of 4 a couple of times.

Well in 2017, we are ending November in a very similar fashion, and we are starting December, a bit warmer, but around the same time (about the 7th or so) we should start to see much colder air arriving.  Not to get down about it though, we did recover later in December of 2016, and finished the month only a degree below normal, and the the rest of winter was pretty much amazing, with record warmth and very little snow.

If you ever have questions about cold, climate, or any other weather, email me,


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