All indications point to a return of “deep freeze” weather in the eastern US in about a week or so and that colder weather pattern could last right into the early part of February. A series of cold frontal passages will return the Mid-Atlantic region to moderately colder conditions by the weekend with slightly below-normal temperatures, but that may end up looking rather mild compared to the much colder air destined to push our way later next week and beyond.
Longer range computer model forecasts from both the European and GFS (NOAA) are depicting an upper-level pattern that will feature a long wave trough in the eastern US and a long wave ridge along the west coast of North America in a week or so (see forecast map). The combination of these two upper level features will likely bring numerous Arctic air outbreaks into the central and eastern US from central Canada - perhaps for a two or three week period right into the first part of February. It is too early to tell if we’ll get as cold as the early month “polar vortex” outbreak, but Arctic cold air outbreaks this time of year – climatologically the coldest time of the year – certainly can be noteworthy and sub-zero readings are likely across parts of the northern US.
Looking ahead to the Super Bowl, which is being played outdoors this year in northern New Jersey on February 2nd, the colder pattern that arrives later next week is still quite likely to be affecting the Mid-Atlantic region at that time and there will probably be snow on the ground. Now for some good news…Phillies pitchers and catchers report in just 29 days!