The January “thaw” has taken hold the past 7-10 days.
Despite the milder air over the past week, January, as a whole, is still running 4° below average at Indianapolis- a byproduct of just how frigid the first half of the month was.
While the January thaw has been nice, times are changing and winter sure seems to be reloading for a very active second half.
Initially, we think it’s the storminess that will be most impressive as a “fight” develops between resistance from southern ridging and a new mean trough pushing southeast. The end result should be multiple snow and ice makers from the southern Plains into the Ohio Valley and northeast over the upcoming couple of weeks.
Once we get a snowpack laid down, arctic highs oozing southeast will likely lead to bitterly cold air. Recall our expectation for this pattern to yield at least (1) night of double-digit below zero lows, but it’s more towards mid-month that we think the severe cold takes hold.
Teleconnections are lining up and in overall agreement of cold, wintry times returning.
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is forecast to rotate into the colder phase 8 as we rumble from early to mid February. Given the amplitude of the MJO, it should continue to rumble right through the cold phases of 1,2, and 3.
All of these moving pieces that lead up to extended periods of cold, wintry conditions are part of a bigger outcome low solar, easterly QBO winters deal up. What we should experience with this setup is a 6-7 week period of wintry conditions, including times of severe cold. It appears to be a snowier version of what we went through late-December through mid-January. Hang in there, spring will come…eventually.