January 10, 2013

Preparing for a Drop in Temperature

New information continues to come in on the cold outbreak set to roll in during the middle of January. The cold will first settle southward over the West during the latter part of this week into the weekend. Portions of California may experience their lowest temperatures of the season so far with a hard freeze. Temperatures are likely to moderate slowly later next week in the West.
It is possible the string of cold nights this weekend into the first part of next week rivals that of the past several decades in part of the Southwest. Farther east, arctic air will spill into the northern Plains this weekend from central Canada and will progress slowly eastward in stages through next week.
Multiple storms could ride up from the Gulf of Mexico along the edge of the cold air slowly advancing over the Midwest and lower Mississippi Valley.

It is possible that it will take a larger storm to finally drive the cold air to the coastal Northeast during the middle of next week. While it appears the cold will not rival the great arctic outbreaks of January 1994, December 1989 and January 1985 in terms of severity, it is possible that temperatures will plunge 40 to 50 degrees over a 24- to 48-hour period as some locations pass from a warm air mass to the arctic air over the northern Plains.

By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist - AccuWeather.com

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