US February 2019 Outlook (Super Cold Outbreak to end January?)

Written by on January 24, 2019 in United States of America with 0 Comments

January started mild and shall end on an extremely cold note. As expected, we are now seeing the effects of the Sudden Stratospheric Warming which peaked at Christmas and split of the polar vortex around January 2nd.

The cold shot which swept through the Great Lakes bringing two straight -40F morning’s to Northern Minnesota and stung the Northeast this week produced Hartford, Connecticut’s cold day since 1981 (4F) and Boston’s coldest since 2004 (10F). It was balmy ahead of the brutal cold and balmy two days later! Amazing swing!

However, while we’ve have been a series of quick hitting cold waves in recent days including now, next week could host a true polar vortex attack on the country. The models suggest another Super Arctic Outbreak similar to January 1985 is on the table as all ingredients came together perfectly then (SSW, favourable MJO, El Nino etc).

Watch as a large lobe of the polar vortex rotates in over the Great Lakes mid next week.

Credit: Pivotal Weather

The models suggest by next Thursday, as the polar vortex is over the Upper Midwest, the troposhere is squeezed with the base of the tropopause down to 800hpa or 7,000ft. Amazing!

850mb or 5,000ft temps dip to -42C. Extremely rare!

Credit: wxcharts.eu

Credit: wxcharts.eu

Thicknesses would push the lowest possible.

Credit: Pivotal Weather

GFS surface temps for Wednesday and Thursday mornings push all-time records.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Unbelievable wind chills normally restricted to the frozen tundra of Canada’s far north descend over Minneapolis and Chicago to between -50 and -60F with -55 to -65F in the suburbs.

Credit: Pivotal Weather

Indeed the models have shown extreme cold before only to deliver a normal midwinter arctic outbreak. Will this have merit and push towns and cities to the limit? Let’s wait and see.

So, a bitter end to January but how about February?

With the cold finally entering the lowest levels of the troposphere next week.

And MJO expected to progress into the favourable cold phases of 5, 6, and 7, everything points to a very cold February.

CFSv2 weeklies 5-day means

500mb anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

2m temp anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: @cleantechinv

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