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Forecast – for Jan. 20, 2011

The overall weather pattern over our part of the world has been acting a little strange over the last couple of weeks. While the general pattern hasn’t been unusual, it hasn’t been behaving in the usual way. Take the last couple of weeks. Normally when a strong arctic high begins building to our northwest, it slides south rather quickly and then becomes the dominant weather pattern, giving us a cold snap. The weather models have been predicting this, yet persistent low pressure over Western Canada and the northwestern U.S. has been bottling up this cold air and at the same time spinning off weak areas of low pressure that have been giving us our occasional snow.

This week it finally looks like the cold air will push south, but since it has been held off for so long, it now looks like it will only be a fairly short burst of cold air. The models show cold high pressure finally sliding south during the week and this should bring some of the coldest air of the winter into our region. Highs will likely be in the -20 C range with overnight lows around -30 C or colder, depending on cloud cover.

By the weekend the high will have pushed by and low pressure will move into the Canadian northwest. This will combine to give us westerly winds which will begin to moderate our temperatures. The models then show high pressure developing over much of the central and western U.S. If this happens, any really cold air will be kept well to our north and we should see temperatures close to the high end of the usual temperature range for much of next week.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs:-22 to -5 C.Lows:-33 to -15 C.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

Daniel Bezte

Daniel Bezte is a teacher by profession with a BA (Hon.) in geography, specializing in climatology, from the U of W. He operates a computerized weather station near Birds Hill Park.

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