New Year Begins Mild…Return to Cold Likely

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

In the past 24 hours a strong storm system has sparked an outbreak of powerful thunderstorms along the Mississippi Valley. The Severe Storms prediction center reporting 40 confirmed tornadoes have torn over parts of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi.

According to The Associated Press, at least six people have been killed and several more injured by the twisters on New Year‘s Eve. Dozens of homes have been damaged or destroyed and thousands have been left without power. Golf ball- to baseball-sized hail pounded many cities and towns across the region.

This outbreak is a result of warm moist air coming out of the Gulf of Mexico colliding with Dry Arctic air swinging down from the Northern plains. Strong winds aloft have provided perfect tilt to these thunderstorms to keep persistent updrafts going with a mass exodus of air from the surface thanks to upper level diverging winds.

High pressure off the Mid-Atlantic coast is giving us great weather to start off the year 2011. A mild start with Plenty of sunshine this morning with light SW winds at the surface will allow temps to climb into the Lwr 50’s…and may even climb into the mid 50’s in a few areas if the sun holds strong through the afternoon.

I am expecting high clouds to be increasing this afternoon ahead of the rain to our west, which will be moving through tonight in a weakened state. Showers are likely after midnight through the morning hours tomorrow. These will be scattered showers where not much more than a tenth-.20″ of rain will fall at the most. Showers will linger until 10 AM Sunday …before clouds start to break by the midday with increasing sunshine from west to east during the afternoon. It will take until 2-4 PM for the sunshine to reach the coast. Temps will start mild, near 50,  and start to fall off into the Lwr 40’s by sunset.

Cooler air will be on the move Sunday night with clearing skies. Brisk NW winds will develop Monday. Seasonally cool for much of the week ahead with mainly dry conditions. We will track a short wave rolling through Tuesday night…but moisture will be limited so I am not expecting much more than clouds. Cold air advection will follow in behind this disturbance to keep the cool down going through the end of the week with highs bottoming out near 30-33 degrees.

Another more vigorous shortwave could be digging in towards the Great Lakes and through New England for the end of the week. There is the potential Clipper Low to slide south of New England and deepen just off the coast for a brief burst of accumulating snowfall late Friday into Early Saturday. That is simply one measly Euro run on a Saturday morning for an event a week a away…so that will obviously change in many forms before we get a handle on that.

The pattern a whole has taken a break. The blocking pattern has broken down a bit. The real Arctic air is exhausted in Canada…and has shifted to the other side of the Globe….but it is cold enough that when steered into the US it can cause storms…as we are seeing now. This coming week will be a tolerable chill..with a breakdown of a brief thaw.

Looking ahead, behind any disturbance which happens at the end of the week…cold arctic air will begin to press south again with persistent NW winds out of Canada. The week of the 10th-15th will be much colder than what we will see this week. Any big storms? I don’t see any now, but they do have a history of creeping up on us from time to time!

  • kent

    joe the below zero weather you are calling for in two weeks do you think it might be record breaking?

  • JimmyJames

    Happy New Year Joe and to the rest of my fellow bloggers!

  • Gail

    Didnt Todd gutner look like the biggest geek interviewing people last night? OMG he seem so amazed that some woman was going to have a baby next summer!!! it was funny stuff.

  • kent

    hi jimmy happy new year are you going to the blog get together?

  • shotime

    Why do people have to be so critical of others! Be nice to thy fellow man, try it on for size… you might find it fits rather nicely! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • JimmyJames

    I asked the question last night and some responded but I will ask it again. What are your weather wishes for 2011? Mine are a few good snowstorms and less heat and humidity this summer.

    • coach23

      Another hot summer just like last year

  • shotime

    JJ, Unfortunately my 2011 weather wish usually entails the heat and humidity you’re not too found of since I love big boomers. So that’s my wish for 2011… lots of intense thunderstorms (minus any property damage or personal injury)!

    • JimmyJames

      Shotime I do love thunderstorms to and I am sure we will get some good thunderstorm days.

  • kent

    a nice hurricane to prune all the dead branches in my yard that im too cheap to have taken down.also a warm rest of the winter so i can save on heat,im really cheap!!

  • shotime

    I love the last sentence in NOAA’s forecast discussion…THIS
    STORM POTENTIAL WILL NEED TO BE CALMLY MONITORED. Calmly and snowstorms, not in my world! My excitement level goes off the chart whenever I hear the mention of a possible snowstorm. HA!

  • southshoretom

    to avoid a repeat of that summer weather we had a couple years ago where it was in the 60s many days in June and July and it rained a majority of the time.

  • BaileyMan

    WOW!!!!!!!! if the latest 12z Gfs are correct?!! we would have a storm next Friday into the Weekend that would be even more powerful then the last storm!!! 960mb and/or lower?!!! are you kidding me?!!!!! and up to 2 feet of snow!!!! plus the storm would stack vertically and move very slowly to the east south of SNE?!!! all i can say is WOW!!! But then again were talking 6 days out!!! so clearly alot can change!!! But all i am saying is IF this run is true???? Blizzard of 2010 just met its match!!!!!! because that Baby is hugh!!!!!! if you love STORMS??! hope this is a new trend unfolding that the other models pick up on!! ill await any indication from the Euro on this one but, fingers crossed it pans out!! yes im a tad excited but, cautiously optimistic??!! i shouldnt fall for this just yet! lol should i?!!! ok i wont….hmm? ya..dont want to get burned yet again so…ill just chill now………………..!

  • Scott

    12z GFS shows a beauty. this storm has serious potential of happening, got the GFS and EURO on board.

  • Scott

    heres the QPF for that storm, my jaw dropped.

    only 6 days away….but this snow pack is losing its grip quick, would be nice to get it all back a week from now

  • Ed

    Scott i heard paul kocin mention on the weather channel new years eve that he thinks that storm could be bigger than the previous two,he has been good this year.he said it could bring eastern NE over a foot

    • coach23

      But he hasn’t been gone from the Weather Channel for a long time

  • PatonBack

    You can not be serious?! If this storm forms?! Watch out baby!!!
    Blizzard of 2011!!!!!!!!! check this 500mb projection out!

  • Scott

    that was eye candy right there^

  • DaveTopNotchForecaster

    Ah that would be like the Blizzard of 78 guys! Could it be??? talking 2 to 3 feet in some places in SNE! and winds gusting to hurricane force and Barometric pressures of like umm? 28.35?! is that a misprint?

  • tomOpete

    what say you joe joyce????

    • nothjoejoycce

      I will say that it will NOT happen.

  • leo

    That is absolutely crazy QPF Scott. That would satisfy my snow needs for a while!

  • leo

    That looks like a nucleur bomb!!!!

  • Scott

    i dont see any major warm ups after that storm either…like the last one.

    six day out…have to keep that in mind.

  • southshoretom

    is the 12z GFS rotating a disturbance off of the Hudson Bay Polar Vortex, rotating it southeastward thru the Great Lakes and intensifying it as it rides just along the south coast. Plausible given blocking at higher latitudes…..


    Bring it on!! Blizzard 2011

  • leo

    Didnt notice any high to the north! I would like to see that with one of these storms. Not that it mattered much on the last storm.

  • JimmyJames

    All I am going to say is there is POTENTIAL late next week. I am not jumping on board the storm train. Thanks for some of the responses on your weather wishes for 2011. I enjoyed reading them and can’t wait to hear others weather wishes for this year.

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