As usual for this time of the year, the general weather pattern played out as expected, but differences in the strength of the systems, along with the overall track, ended up impacting the longer-range forecast — at least a little bit.
Arctic high pressure moved in as expected behind last weekend’s low and, as predicted, the cold high quickly moved off to the East. A strong ridge of high pressure is forecast to build across central North America during the first half of this forecast period, thanks to a strong surface high over the eastern U.S. This ridge should bring temperatures that will likely surpass the usual temperature range for this time of the year, with highs over low-snow-covered regions expected to make it toward the high single digits by Friday. Areas that have significant snow cover will likely only see highs around the +4 C mark.
Over the weekend, a low passing by well to our north will drag a cold front southward, which will bring an end to the near-record warm temperatures. Overall, the weather pattern looks to continue on the quiet side, with weather models showing no major weather systems expected to impact our region between now and Christmas.
The models show a strong polar low anchoring itself over the Gulf of Alaska, along with an area of high pressure across the U.S. southeast. This should keep us high and dry for at least the next couple of weeks. Of course, now that I’ve made this prediction, you know Mother Nature will eventually make us pay for it; it’s just a matter of time.
Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -17 to -2 C; lows, -27 to -10 C.