After nearly two weeks of pretty relentless cold weather, the upper-level wind patterns show strong hints of changing within the next week or so. This means that we could actually end up turning to above-normal temperatures into the final two weeks of January.
This change will begin in fits and starts this week, with one or two more mini-arctic air intrusions before the real warmup sets in next week and the week after. A big storm moving out of the Gulf this weekend will signal the turning point. Still looking for rain as the best bet from that storm, unless some last vestiges of arctic air manage to edge south, but that seems to be the long-shot call right now.
Headlines that were running in various spots about this being the coldest winter in decades might have been premature, given we are only a few weeks into the season. A more “classic” El Nino winter pattern looms ahead.
* by Jim Duncan