Saturday, January 15, 2011

Prediction of a Cold Wave

These are excerpted comments from the Paul Douglas on Weather blog that appears online in the Star Tribune. We’ve excerpted his comments relating to a cold wave that he began to predict two weeks ago. Particularly notable phrases include “potentially dangerous cold,” “possible all-time records for January cold,” and “lows to -25 in the metro (and colder in the suburbs).” As of January 15, Paul’s forecast highs for Jan. 16-20 are 8, 18, 5, 17 and 9. The coldest overnight temperature forecast during the period is -3.

January 5, 2011 - 9:41 AM
Long-range models hinting at a few subzero daytime highs (even for the metro area) between January 16-20, possibly the coldest stretch of the entire winter.

Coldest Of The Winter? On Tuesday, January 18, we could be looking at 2-3 days in a row of subzero highs, even in the immediate Twin Cities metro, with nighttime lows dipping into the -10 to -20 F. range.

Last update: January 5, 2011 - 10:59 PM
Coldest Cold Front of the Winter? The GFS model is consistently printing out a very cold spell during the third week of January, especially Jan. 15 - 19. A few days with highs below zero are possible during that period, even in the metro area. Still early - but I have a hunch this will wind up being colder than early December, possibly the coldest of the winter.

Coldest air may come between January 16-21, a few subzero days with nighttime lows as cold as -20 to -25F around the metro, some -40s possible up north.

What may wind up being a newsworthy cold wave, a potentially dangerous 3-4 day episode of Siberian air, is shaping up for the 3rd week of January, between the 17th and 21st, give or take. Models are fairly consistent, pulling polar air into Minnesota. The good news: it may be a relatively quick shot of brutally cold air, 3-5 days. The bad news: even the metro may experience a few days of subzero highs (-3 to -8 F) with nighttime lows in the -25 F. range. Still time to call your travel agent or check out those low-low fares on!

This time next week a plowable snowfall is possible, followed by what MAY be the coldest smack since Jan. 2004 (-24 in the metro). Ouch.

Last update: January 6, 2011 - 10:46 PM
Coldest Air of Winter 8-10 Days Away?
Coldest air of the winter possible January 17-20, subzero highs possible for 2+ days, nighttime lows may dip to -20 in the suburbs. The good news: the latest guidance is hinting that this Arctic outbreak will be relatively brief.

Coldest Air Of The Winter? It's coming. Here is raw GFS guidance for the third week of January. The good news: it won't last long, maybe 3 or 4 days, tops. The bad news: we will probably experience 2 or 3 subzero "highs", afternoon temperatures in the -3 to -8 F. range (in the metro) with nighttime lows dipping as low as -20 to -25 F. I wouldn't be suprised to see some -40 to -45 F. lows up north by January 18th or 19th. Time to call your travel agent or hop on-line and find a good fare to....anywhere. My gut: Jan. 17-21 will be the coldest spell of the entire winter, possible record territory.

January 7, 2011 - 9:22 PM
Next Weekend's Arctic Blast - Could be Coldest of Season!

January 10, 2011 - 9:57 AM
Turning colder over the weekend, potential for subzero highs over much of Minnesota by Sunday.

Bitter Blast - Coldest of Winter? Last week at this time a number of people thought I was mad predicting a bitter outbreak more than 2 weeks away. But we're still on track for a news-worthy bout of Siberian air, best chance of subzero weather from the 20th through the 25th of January. We may still experience 3 or 4 days of subzero highs in the metro (-3 to -8 F. range) with nighttime lows dipping to -25, even colder in the outlying suburbs. I'm still expecting a rash of -40s up north, maybe a -50 up at Embarrass and Tower, the twin cities of cold. Yes, we may set a few all-time records for January cold later this month. Give it about a week and a half and everyone will be griping...

January 11, 2011 - 3:48 PM
Highs may not climb above zero Sunday and next Monday, even in the metro area. Lows in the -8 to -15 range possible.

January 15, 2011 - 12:11 AM
Next week's cold wave has been neutered; each successive computer run cuts back on the severity of the polar outbreak - maybe 2 or 3 nights below zero, but hardly record-breaking.


  1. Must say that I changed this weekend's plans to next weekend because of the original cold hype 2 weeks ago. I'm glad I stopped taking these long-range models seriously.

  2. I thought very seriously about plotting a warm-weather escape based on the long-range forecasts. Glad I didn't. I'm not suggested this happens, but think how much could be at stake if a travel agency endorses a forecaster who might tend toward the extremes...