A brief January thaw moved in last week before more rounds of cold moved in this week. We have great news for you, however, if you’re a warm-weather fan because a much more prolonged stretch of above average temperatures is likely ahead beginning this weekend. Again, this stretch of warmth won’t only last a day or two–It will last for weeks overall. Of course we’ll still deal with ups and downs with occasional days with chilly temperatures, but the overall feel will be the relatively-warm air.
The culprit for this pattern change is what’s happening on the other side of the world. The pattern of the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean can sometimes determine what the weather will be downstream across the U.S.. A jet extension will take place this week, as shown the the European model map to the left, which will allow for mild, Pacific air will invade into the U.S.. The general pattern across the U.S. will also transfer to a trough over the West and a ridge over the East. Ridges signify warmer air.
We look at many different models when making our forecasts, but the EPS model’s long-range outlook paints the same picture that we’re forecasting. It shows above average temperatures over the East and below average temperatures across the West starting next week (week of January 22nd). As we go week-by-week farther out in time, there won’t really be many changes. Sure there will be fluctuations in the intensity of the heat, but overall it will remain mild for the Eastern U.S. until mid-February.Once we get into the middle of February, another pattern change is expected to take place with a reversal in the pattern. Colder temperatures are forecast to return to the East while the West heats up again. Of course this may change because we’re looking out a month in time, but that’s the general consensus right now.