A Little Snow Monday Night & A Cold Workweek
by Cody Matz
January 15, 2012 6:40 PM
After another unseasonably nice weekend, looks like temperatures will begin to tumble on your Monday with snow returning for many areas Monday evening and night. Now, this does not look like the most impressive storm by any means, so no need to expect feet of snow as you wake up Tuesday morning. However, an inch or two will certainly be possible across the area Monday night and it looks like it may stick around for a few days as cold air will plummet in behind this system.
A cold front moving through the area will begin to cool temperatures after the very warm day Sunday with highs ranging from the 30’s to the low 60’s. Once the front moves through Sunday night, a mid level wave with pull out of the northern Rockies and into the plains. Now, if there was a bit more moisture with this storm then we might expect a decent snowstorm, but moisture will certainly be limited so overall accumulation will be light. But lets face reality we really need the moisture. And of course, snowfall accumulation predictions have not gotten any easier in the last few months, so that remains the toughest task. Below are a couple examples of what some of our forecasting models are saying we will get.
Told you it wouldn’t be much. But remember that if this storm comes in a little stronger then expected or has a little more moisture, then totals could go up. So its just a little wait and see game at the moment, but it does appear like the south has the better chance at more snow with 2 or even 3 inches a little more likely.
Now, once the snow moves through, temperatures will become quite cold with arctic air hanging around. But what’s really interesting about this arctic air surge is just how sharp of a line it will be from bitterly cold to seasonably warm. Check out the temperatures at 5000 feet above the surface (a little easier to see the temperature gradients this week at this level). The first image is from Sunday afternoon:
Looks mild right? That’s why it was so warm in many areas, but by Monday afternoon, this is what it will look like.
Much colder looking. In fact, temperatures at this level will drop some 40 degrees from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Now, by the middle of the week, cold air will be pooling up in southern Canada while warmer air is pooling in the central U.S. Look at the temperature contrast from these two areas in the image below.
With this particular set up, it will be a real challenge trying to determine high and low temperatures just because if the airmass fluctuates slightly in one direction or another, it could mean the difference of some 20 or so degrees. So you will have to keep checking back for your forecast because it could change pretty drastically over the next couple of days.