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Once the cold takes hold, it may not leave for weeks

December 01, 2017; 9:57 AM

1. These maps show (1) the early morning pressure pattern and (2) the distribution of clouds fog and precipitation across much the United States:

2017-12-01_07-32-03pan.jpg

2017-12-01_07-44-18map.jpg

While there is a lot of high cloudiness, there are few areas of stormy weather.

So...

2. We're in one of the atmosphere's quiet times. Last summer's leaves lie crinkly and still on the forest floor, only the oak clinging to the tattered remains. The morning's chill will mellow to a surprising and pleasing mildness under the coaxing of the distant low November sun. We'll hear of a strong storm sending high waves battering the Canadian Pacific coast, turning to heavy mountain snows that are whipped into car-capturing, bus-blocking, truck-trapping drifts, knowing some of that snow may lie untouched until May or June.

But here, it's a time for quiet, stillness and peace. We anticipate the happiness of the joyous and busy holidays of early winter. All too soon the bitter blusters from the arctic north will freeze our faces and numb our thumbs. We'll awaken to sleet ticking against the window pane or the sound of scrapers toiling against windshield ice. Though the cliff of winter lies before us and there is no going back, the atmosphere isn't pressing the issue this weekend. It's a quiet time, perhaps a moment to collect our thoughts about where we've been, what we're doing, and what is coming next in this life of opportunity and chances.

3. The following maps show the GFS ensemble mean forecasts for upper air flow every other day from tomorrow through next week. The last map is for just a week before Christmas. The message here is that once the cold weather regime takes over, it will not leave any time soon.

2017-12-01_08-00-20gfse1.jpg

2017-12-01_08-08-02gfse2.jpg

2017-12-01_08-19-50gfs3.jpg

2017-12-01_08-29-30gfs4.jpg

2017-12-01_08-37-23gfs6.jpg

4. This appears consistent with the movement of the Polar Vortex at the 10MB level away from it usual location near the Pole.

2017-12-01_09-04-4310mb12-1-17.jpg

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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