Weather for New Year's Eve and Beyond

What weather will the New Year bring us?

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! 

Now that we've made it through the Christmas holiday, it's time to look ahead at the weather for New Year's eve and beyond. 

Today will start off with temperatures below freezing, here at DaculaWeather.com we managed to hit 27.9º at 7:32 am this morning. Temperatures will rebound a little bit today under sunny skies, but there is still pretty good cold air advection (CAA) so it won't get too warm today. Clouds and moisture begin to return on New Year's eve but the day will remain dry. The rain reappears in the early hours of New Year's day and will remain with us off and on through at least Thursday. 

The north Georgia mountains may see a little snow on Tuesday morning and again later in the week when another colder shot of air returns. There is a pretty good snow cover over the northern part of the country now, and each new shot of cold air brings the colder air further south since the snow cover helps prevent the air from warming as much as it would without it. 

The models are still waffling on exactly what is going to happen for the system at the end of next week, so until things come into better focus, I won't speculate on the type of weather we may see, but we're entering the time of the year when the precipitation type becomes a challenge to predict. We will most likely have rain though. :-(

Here's a potential forecast for the month of January from several of the meteorologists I follow (WARNING, weather geek speak follows!):


First Dec. 27-30 window as mentioned back on Dec. 13...we have the Euro 39h 850's for Dec. 30 with the cold pool of -10 to -12C air covering most of the MW/NE.

After a brief stint of southerly flow on the back side of a high pressure over Florida 850's warm to 0 to -2C over IN, OH and parts of MI for Dec. 31

Second window Dec. 30-Jan 3 as mentioned back on Dec. 13... signs still pointing to much colder air arriving over the Eastern US...the Euro at 156 hours 850's for Jan 4 0z---Jan 3 7pm EST with -20 to -22C over WI and N. MI which migrates eastward in the following days.

It appears the Jan 20-24 cold shot should be comparable in magnitude of the upcoming Jan 2-3 airmass. Also latest GWO numbers are currently trending towards an agreement of the Jan 20-24 date. I will have concrete confirmation or rejection of that assumption by Tues.

Extending the outlook Jan 24-26 show up as next pocket of cooler air...although I will say signals are mixed on this window date so I'm not too confident on this time frame producing a cooler airmass for the MW/NE.

(This next paragrpah has to do with stratospheric warming over the north pole area. Normally when that area of the stratosphere warms, it displaces the polar vortex southward. In this case, the models are showing a split as well as displacement.)

Although Jan 26-30 looks very impressive and should out do the Jan 2-3 850mb cold air wrt temps. The newest ECMWF strat. temp forecast shows a ~+48C warming at 10mb from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2 and a ~+42C warming from Jan1 to Jan 2. There is also a wind reversal forecasted to take place Jan 2 at 1mb and 10mb at 60N. This should qualify as a MAJOR SSW since only a +25C temp change is required over a week period for a minor SSW and I believe the wind reversal is extensive enough to qualify also. If not it is still a minor SSW. The EP vector is also forecasted poleward at least at 90N which is a good signal that the SSW will in fact allow arctic air to spill southward. This event should produce the Jan 26-30 window cold pocket...Although I don't have much experiencing timing out SSW events so this may not be the exact window, it may have to be adjusted forward or backwards by a few days.

I will also say that it appears a lot of these dates are back to back and should mention that these forecasted chunks of cooler/colder air are cooler/colder relative to the air in place that they displace. So I don't claim to know the temperature range of the 850mb temps arriving...The concept can only forecast that it will be "colder" than the one that will be in place at the time of it's arrival and are associated with shortwaves so there will be brief time frames of southerly winds ahead of the short waves that will produce WAA ahead of waves and as a result might produce brief minor spikes in 850 temps and sfc temps in transition from time frame to time frame. So for example over a period of days (windows) it could just go from -2C...cool to -5C (window/event 1) then warm to 0C and cool to -4 (window/event 2) where event 2 ends up "cooling" but ends up actually with warmer temps than just a few days prior but cooler compared to just 1 or 2 days prior. This also doesn't elude to AA temps or BA temps just "relative" so even with all the time frames for shortwaves thus...colder airmasses; it doesn't rule out that the resulting cooler temps still produce above average temperatures for daytime highs. When the signals are stronger an estimation of the temp of the air is possible such as the Jan. 2-3 and Jan 20-24 and Jan 26-30 episode. The other time frames are just hiccups in the stat. signal and coincide to minor dips in sfc temperatures relative to previous days' highs but I figure they are worth mentioning. 


And Mr. Sutherland had this to say:


Near Year-End Wrapup...

A brutally warm year for North America is coming to a close. December has already produced some winter highlights in the Plains States, Midwest, and portions of Quebec. Madison and Montreal were among the cities receiving substantial snowfalls. A storm is currently poised to bring a moderate to locally significant snowfall to portions of New England.

Looking ahead, the PNA is continuing to rise. The long anticipated Arctic outbreak appears likely to occur during the first week in January. Ahead of the Arctic outbreak, some snow flurries and snow showers might occur, but a big storm probably won't.

Portions of southern Canada and the eastern half of the U.S. will likely see their coldest readings of the winter so far. Some areas, perhaps including New York City, Albany, and Ottawa could see their coldest temperatures since Winter 2010-11. A subzero low in Albany and single-digit low in New York City (even with little or no snow cover) remain on the table.

However, after the Arctic outbreak, with the Arctic Oscillation likely to go positive and the EPO also likely to become positive, a period of moderation is likely to unfold, beginning in the Plains States and than spreading eastward. Unlike last winter, it does not appear that a bout of exceptional warmth is underway. More importantly, it is likely that this will be the kind of moderation that lasts about two weeks. Hence, winter will not come to an end. Moreover, January is likely to have cold monthly anomalies for perhaps the eastern two thirds of the U.S., as well as southern Ontario and southern Quebec.

Finally, the upcoming storm should not be viewed as a missed opportunity for snowfall from which lightly or non-impacted regions cannot recover. It is not a final verdict that Winter 2012-13 will continue the misery of a general absence of snowfall in those regions e.g., the Mid-Atlantic where the last snowy winter was 2009-10. There will be more opportunities for snowfall and analog cases continue to suggest that a KU-type snowstorm is not out of the question before the winter is completed. 


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North Georgia Weather December 31, 2012 at 01:13 PM
From the SPC: The year will finish without any severe storms forecast during the next several days, so we offer this trivia tidbit regarding SPC watches. Did you know that 2012 will have the fewest number of tornado and severe thunderstorm watches issued by SPC since moving to Norman in 1997? Just 697 watches were issued this year (two numbers were inadvertently skipped which is why the last watch issued was #699). This breaks the previous record low (since SPC has been located in Norman) of 727 in 1999. The average number of watches per year for 1997-2012: 844. The greatest number of watches in a year during that time span: 983 in 2003.
North Georgia Weather December 31, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I've been watching the stratospheric weather with great interest lately. You would think that the stratosphere wouldn't have much to do with our weather on the surface since it resides somewhere around 5-30 miles above the earths surface. But what goes on in the stratosphere can make a big difference in what happens at the surface. The event that is about to take place is called Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) and occurs roughly every two years or so. (SSW) is an event where the polar vortex of westerly winds in the winter hemisphere abruptly (i.e. over the course of a few days) slows down or even reverses direction, accompanied by a rise of stratospheric temperature by several tens of kelvins. This is considered to be the most dramatic meteorological event in the stratosphere. They are classified into three major types, Major, Minor, and Final. Obviously a Major is the most dramatic and is what is forecast to happen. A Major occurs when the westerly winds at 60N and 10hPa reverse, i.e. become easterly. A complete disruption of the polar vortex is observed and the vortex will either be split into daughter vortices, or displaced from its normal location over the pole. ... continued
North Georgia Weather December 31, 2012 at 02:00 PM
... continued According to the World Meteorological Organization's Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (Mclnturff, 1978): a stratospheric warming can be said to be major if 10 mb or below the latitudinal mean temperature increases poleward from 60 degree latitude and an associated circulation reversal is observed (that is, the prevailing mean westerly winds poleward of 60 latitude are succeeded by mean easterlies in the same area). It appears there is a significant change in the stratosphere coming within a week or two that could have a dramatic affect on our weather all over the US. To follow along, load this page in another tab or window. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_stratosphere_temp.php This page has a table that has pressures (or levels in the stratosphere) and the forecast for that level from the current reading to 240 hours out. Below that will be an image that depicts the temperatures and high and low pressures areas. The low pressure area is the stratospheric polar vortex (PV). ... continued
North Georgia Weather December 31, 2012 at 02:17 PM
... continued If you'll start clicking through the hours for the default layer (10 hPA) and you'll begin to notice the PV size starting to shrink and by hour 144, starting to elongate. The next frame shows the PV beginning to split and by the last frame, a total split and displacement of the polar vortex. On top of the temperature change, scroll down on the Stratosphere page you have loaded and view the graphs of the temperatures. You can see the dramatic rise in the temperatures. Scroll a little further and you'll see the graphs for the winds, the first wind graph shows the winds slowing and reversing and the last graph shows the flux reversing to northward. So what does this mean for our weather? The effects of the SSW lag behind the actual event, so we won't see anything from it until the last week of January/February. But what we will see are much colder temperatures. If the forecast is correct, a piece of the PV will dislodge over the US and put us in the deep freeze for a while. We'll keep watching and you can follow along too by using the link above.
North Georgia Weather January 01, 2013 at 04:38 PM
From Don Sutherland this morning: With the warmest year since record keeping began in the CONUS now in the past, rather than reflecting back at the misery that year inflicted on snow geese, I will share a passage that was written by a woman from Monroe, Virginia following the wild, wintry weather of December 1839: "Never before did winter visit this sunny valley in such wrathful mood. He raved and roared, as from his chariot of the storm, he showered down snow and hail, and icicles, amid the shivering forests, which bent and bowed before his hurricane flight, as if but just broke loose from his drear arctic regions." Happy New Year!!!
North Georgia Weather January 01, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Currently on Mt Washington: Temp: -12F Wind Chill: -55F Wind: 86 mph 15 minute gust: 100 mph http://www.daculaweather.com/4_mt_washington.php
North Georgia Weather January 03, 2013 at 11:35 AM
At 6 am this morning, the temperature at Albany, NY was -3°. That's the first subzero low there since February 11, 2011. It likely marks the height of the current cooler period, as a period of moderation continues to lie ahead beginning in the next 5-7 days. With some of the guidance suggesting that the AO could head negative in the extended range (after going positive in the near-term) and the EPO could again become neutral or negative, the milder spell very likely does not mark the end of winter so to speak.
North Georgia Weather January 03, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Russia is enduring its harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as -50 degrees Celsius (-64ºF right now). http://rt.com/news/russia-freeze-cold-temperature-379/ http://www.daculaweather.com/4_world_extremes.php?extremes=North
North Georgia Weather January 03, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Alaska cold: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/forget-global-warming-alaska-headed-ice-age
North Georgia Weather January 03, 2013 at 09:39 PM
It's possible we'll begin seeing some strong pressures building over Alaska in the long range models very soon, and combined with a polar vortex over Hudson Bay, the possibility of severe arctic cold entering the continental US is becoming very likely. With the SSW in progress and both the AO and NAO forecast to return negative, it appears February could end up being a deep freeze month.
North Georgia Weather January 03, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Meteorologist are getting a little more excited in that Eastern Pacific Oscillation (EPO) is trending negative. Having negative values for this index is one of the keys in getting really cold air in the country. When it's in a positive state, the get flooded with warm Pacific air instead of arctic air.
North Georgia Weather January 04, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Last comment for this post... a new one is in order! It now looks like a brief warm-up for next week and possibly the following week, and then a gradual cool down to an ice-box. The signs are now pointing to very cold arctic air that should be coming in about 2 weeks. Get ready! I'll create another post this weekend about this. It's gonna be good I think... if you like winter! :-)


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