2/17/14: Looking Ahead

In the short term, the next week, at least two more surges of Arctic air will push into the upper Midwest.  One is occurring today, as evident with the low temperatures recorded across the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) this morning.  These temperatures would have been colder, except some clouds moved in which stabilized or caused temperatures to rise well before sunrise.

Lows
February 17, 2015 Minimum Temperatures

Arctic High pressure is building into the northern plains this morning and that high pressure will linger for the next 48 hours.  This should create favorable conditions for -10s and -20s in the locations with the most snow cover for the next couple of mornings.

8:00 AM Surface
8:00 AM Surface

The NAM-WRF minimum temperature projections for Wednesday morning are presented below.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Projected Lows
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Projected Lows

Thursday morning lows will be similar in the eastern one-third of North Dakota into Minnesota.  Western North Dakota will be warmer because of cloud cover expected in those areas that morning.  That cloud cover on Friday morning in western North Dakota is associated with a warm front that will move across the area that day.  The warm air pushing out the cold should trigger off some light snow on Friday, especially in eastern North Dakota into Minnesota.  Then very quickly a cold front will move through dropping temperatures for the weekend.

That cold weather pushing in this weekend is expected to last most if not all of next week.  The 6-10 day mean 850 mb temperatures that are a strong indication to surface temperatures indicated well below average temperatures next week.  This will mean that below average temperatures should last the rest of the month (overall average).

6-10 Day ECMWF (WMO-Essential) 850 mb anomalies
6-10 Day ECMWF (WMO-Essential) 850 mb anomalies

 

The mostly below average temperatures are expected to continue into early March.  It is also in March that a pattern shift may develop that will change the mean flow from warm west / cool east, to the cool west / warmer east (in the lower 48 states), meaning the north central portion of the country may see an increase in moisture after a very dry winter.

Daryl Ritchison