Early January Cold Snap...
to be followed by More Mild Weather...
BUT then several more Cold Snaps are
possible by Mid-Month...
The persistent mild weather pattern that existed in Middle Tennessee
for most of December has now become more unsettled. Our first
significant cold snap of the winter season arrived out of Canada on
January 2nd, along with an inch of snow along the northern Cumberland
Plateau. Cold high temperatures on January 3rd, forecast to only
reach the upper 20s to middle 30s most areas, will certainly awaken
everyone in the Mid State to the fact that winter is still here. This
cold spell marks the first time this winter when daytime highs at
Nashville are not expected to get out of the 30s. The cold weather,
however, doesn't stick around long and conditions become mild
again for the period January 4th through the 8th.
The interesting thing about our new unsettled weather pattern is the
tendency for the upper level atmospheric pressure patterns to develop
a ridge of high pressure over western parts of Canada and the United States
and low pressure over the upper Midwest, upper Mississippi Valley and
Ohio River Valley. This poses the likelihood for intermittent outbreaks of
cold Canadian air into Middle Tennessee--something we managed to
escape during the month of December. Indeed, computer models
suggest that several additional cold air outbreaks could charge
southward out of Canada between January 9th and 13th. Right now
it looks like the strongest surge of cold air could arrive around the 12th
or 13th. That's when models predict an area of frigid air over northwestern
Canada might get picked up by a ridge of high pressure building over the
Gulf of Alaska and surge southward into eastern parts of the United States,
including the Tennessee Valley. Of course, that's a long way off, and things
could certainly change by then. However, the longer this unsettled weather
pattern remains over Canada and the continental United States the better
the chances are that at least occasional outbreaks of cold air will surge
southward into Middle Tennessee...some of which could be rather frigid.
So...enjoy the mild temperatures late this week and over the weekend,
because cold weather might become a more frequent visitor to Middle
Tennessee next week.