The January Thaw Cometh

There’s a buzz going around about our weekend warm-up. Doppler already has a snow free arena on the front lawn. The snow’s melted over the septic tank. The rest should be gone in a few days.

High temperatures will be near 50&#176 through Monday. Not bad.

I’d heard talk of sixties earlier. Not likely now.

A January thaw isn’t unusual. That “January thaw” is a familiar term is proof of that. Here’s Wikipedia’s take:

The January thaw is an observed but unexplained temperature rise in mid-winter found in mid-latitude North America.

This year’s thaw comes courtesy of a very deep upper air trough (as seen in the map for Monday at 8:00 AM at the top of this entry). The jet stream crosses Alaska, swings almost due south along the Pacific Coast then curves northeast from Mexico to Quebec.

The area within the trough will be cold. East and west of the trough will be mild. That’s us–east.

Airline travel will be affected. Some of these jet stream winds (purple shade) will be over 150 knots (172 mph).

These upper air patterns tend to slide west-to-east, so the warm-up will be followed a big chill! Early signs show next Thursday’s high in the 20&#176s!

Nothing unusual. This is how weather works.

2 thoughts on “The January Thaw Cometh”

  1. I was stationed in the upper peninsular of Michigan (near Sault Ste. Marie) and temps well below zero were the norm. But every January there was a thaw!

  2. Geoff, just wondering, why isn’t the water vapor map used more frequently? I saw this with Sandy and, to me anyway, it just visually explained the circumstances much better than other tools.

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