Bitter Cold to Invade Much of the Nation in the Week Ahead
Over the past few weeks very cold air has been pooling in northwest Siberia and the North Slope of Alaska. Some of this cold air did move into the Great Lakes and eastern part of the USA during the Thanksgiving week and weekend while the west was mild and dry.
Arctic air is dense, heavy and once it starts moving it can be a formidable force moving quickly from the high latitudes south into the heart of the USA if all the right weather patterns line up. For the week ahead, all the right weather patterns are falling into place to send the coldest air in the past three winters to invade a large portion of the USA.
The pattern we see unfolding should be of concern stock growers in many areas as the cold will be severe and prolonged. This type of cold wave is more typical in January or February as compared to the first week of December. In the graphic below we have highlighted the areas that will be the most impacted with the severe cold and the threat for ice and snow. The coldest air will impact the following states by mid week: Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Nebraska. Much below normal temperatures will also move into Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, northern California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. As the week wears on, the cold will spread south into Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and then east in the Upper Midwest and Corn Belt states.
Where the Arctic air collides with the warmer air in the southeast, be on the lookout for developing, rain, ice and snow in the southcentral states trending northeast into the southern Ohio Valley and into the Mid Atlantic states by the end of the week and into the weekend. Only the extreme southeast and southwestern areas of the country will be spared from this cold and icy weather through the next week to ten days.
There are also indications that more cold air could come in behind this cold wave by early next week. The first half of December will be much colder than normal for most of the lower 48.
Stock growers, especially in the central and northern Rockies, central and northern plains and Upper Midwest should be making preparations for a period of prolonged cold, snow and ice this week and into next week.