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Upper Air Pattern Favors a Weekend Warm Up

A well advertised weekend warm up looms large on the horizon... how's that for alliteration and hyperbole?  But seriously, we are still anticipating temperatures surging well above normal for the upcoming weekend.  Of course, this is great news for holiday shoppers and people like me still finishing outdoor holiday decorations.

For the past 8 days our computer models have been consistent in showing a pattern of warming after a long stretch of temperatures much below normal.  This pattern is dictated by winds and atmospheric waves (trough and ridges) around 30 to 40 thousand feet high.

Currently, with two powerful storms on both coasts we are locked into a holding pattern as amplified waves are typically slow movers.  This means cool temps and periods of clouds round out the rest of the work week.  Hang in there though, the pattern becomes more progressive by the weekend as the east coast storm weakens and moves into the North Atlantic.  This will allow the western storm to head toward the Rockies and the Central U.S. ridge of warmer air to settle over the Great Lakes.

Again, this is the upper air pattern.  At the surface, cold air is very dense (heavy) and can be hard to scour out.  So, warm air rides up and over the cold air creating clouds and an unusual temperature profile.  Gradually, the warm air mixes down to the surface and we celebrate a December thaw.

Of course this is one point of view... I know many outdoor enthusiast anxiously awaiting our first big snowstorm of the season to break out the sleds, snowmobiles and skis.  In due time, our coldest and snowiest months are still ahead of us.

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