Tuesday, December 24, 2013

ECMWF Weeklies Send Polar Vortex Crashing into United States

The new run of the ECMWF Weeklies sends the polar vortex crashing down into the United States -- twice.

850mb temperature anomalies valid for January 3rd.

500mb height anomalies valid for January 3rd.
The forecast from the European weeklies above shows a lobe of the polar vortex plummeting from the upper latitudes to the Eastern US, bringing extreme cold weather along with it. The 850mb temperature anomaly forecast above shows anomalies as low as 26.3 degrees Celsius below normal. Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit tells us that 26.3 degrees below normal is the equivalent of 47.34 degrees Fahrenheit below normal! Considering average highs across Georgia range from the 50s to the 60s, we would be talking about highs in the single digits in southeast Georgia if this forecast verifies.

850mb temperature anomalies for January 10

500mb height anomalies for January 10
The scene is repeated again nearly a week later, as the ECMWF Weeklies take another polar vortex lobe and drop it down into the Northeast, bringing another bout of frigid temperatures along. Temperature anomalies are not as intense, but the message of anomalously cold weather hitting the East still gets through loud and clear.

So, could this happen?

Yes, but it probably won't. The polar vortex is projected to be split up into two vortices (one in southern Canada, one towards Eurasia) as ridging takes over across the Arctic Circle. And while anomalously cold weather is possible as the vortex stationed in Canada is moved closer to the United States, I can't foresee a massive breakdown in temperatures involving a polar vortex lobe collapsing into the United States. It's a possibility, yes, but a very small one.

Andrew

1 comment:

Gary Lezak said...

Very interesting information. If you, and I know you have posted about my theory in the past, know the cycling pattern, around 57 to 58 days according to the LRC, then there will be a very strong storm system around January 12th to 17th. But, how much amplitude will it have? Maybe there are some hidden answers within the data you are presenting here.

Gary Lezak