Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Freezing Temperatures?

So far high temperatures this month have been well above average, but, there are increasing signs that this will change significantly next week.

Q: How cold will it get?

Right now most indications show we will be flirting with the 32 degree mark sometime in the WED to THUR timeframe, overnight. Highs will still likely reach the 40s or 50s.

Q: Will it snow?

It is not out of the question in some lake effect prone areas to the east of Cleveland or against eastern shore of Lake Michigan to see some of the first wet flakes of the year.

[caption id="attachment_2363" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="No need to panic about THIS type of snow just yet."][/caption]

Q: Why are we expecting a cool down?

An area of low pressure will develop somewhere in the eastern Great Lakes, into the Northeast. This alone will drive colder, canadian air south into our area. In addition, the winds further north look to line up straight from the arctic circle as well. This would create the perfect scenario, (spring, winter, or fall) for much cooler temperatures.


[caption id="attachment_2358" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Cold Air diving south next week (via the ECMWF european model)Surface weather chart for the middle of next week. High pressure west and low pressure each will funnel cold air south."][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_2359" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Surface weather chart for the middle of next week. High pressure west and low pressure each will funnel cold air south."][/caption]

Q: So do I need get out my winter coats, boots, hats, and gloves!?

The winter coat, probably. But right now it appears highs should still rise into the 40s or even 50s during the day. So no polar bears will be roaming the streets. Yet.

[caption id="attachment_2357" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Polar Bears Crystal, Marty and Nan at the Toledo Zoo will enjoy this weather!"][/caption]

Q: Why not just make a 14 day forecast if you can tell it will cool down so far ahead?

Typically, when such a large air mass is forecasted by the models to move south. (Or vis versa with a large warm-up) We can pick up on the large scale details quickly. However, when we make a forecast beyond 7-day extended forecasts we must keep in mind that even minor changes over the next few days can have big impacts 8,9 or 10 days down the road. That's why right now we are keeping an eye on the very real possibility for below freezing temperatures next week but it is certainly not a slam dunk at this point. What we can say with more certainty is our time for back-to-back 80 degree days has passed for 2011.