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Terry’s Take: Long haired freaky cold need not apply

Posted on: 10:33 pm, January 9, 2014, by

Terry Swails Weather Blog

There was a song back in the days of flower power (1971) by the 5 Man Electric Band called Signs. It reached #3 on the billboards and had the catchy lyric “long haired freaky people need not apply”. That rings in my ears tonight because that’s what I’m seeing on the charts, lot’s of signs that point to another Arctic outbreak in about a week. By the way, here’s the link to the song if you want to dig it for old times sake

1 freaky cold

Meantime, we are in for a nice little break the next few days as the Arctic chill that has gripped the Midwest moves east and retreats. Many spots from Iowa and Illinois south now have a crack at 3 consecutive days where highs climb above freezing. Snow cover will temper the warm-up but it still looks like above normal readings throughout the weekend for the entire Midwest. Here’s the EURO temperature anomaly for Sunday. Mild from Canada to Mexico!

1 euro high sunday

All good things come to an end and the signs do point towards another healthy shot of cold air around January 17th.  Here’s the 500mb forecast off the EURO control run and it should look familiar. Another extension of the Polar vortex is breaking free and heading for the N. Great Lakes. It’s not as intense as this past weekend but wicked just the same.

1 euro 192

Below you can see the forecast temperature anomalies and they are 20-25 below normal over the upper Midwest.

1 euro 192 anomaly

Here’s the low pressure responsible for the delivering the cold. You can see the tight pressure contours spiraling around the low. That spells wind and that means nasty wind chills will accompany the cold. Yippee!

1 euro low pressure

I feeling pretty confident about the chill as the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and AO (Arctic Oscillation) are shown going deeply negative at that time. The PNA is also heading positive. That all argues for a ridge over the west which would allow the sharp buckle necessary for such an air mass to descend! Here are the teleconnections I’m talking about.


What I’m recommending here is that you enjoy the short term warm-up as many signs are pointing towards another deep freeze around January 17th. Probably not as brutal as the this weeks but formidable just the same. Long haired freaky cold need not apply! Less than 80 days to spring!  Roll weather….TS