Monday, January 4, 2016

Tis The Season: It's Actually Cold Out There.

Hard to see Lake Champlain from the University of Vermont
"haze cam" this morning, thanks to snow showers
forming amid the contrast between relatively warm
water and frigid air now in place.
This morning, we Vermonters awoke to temperatures just a tad below zero along the border with Canada and just in the single numbers for most of the rest of us.

This is entirely, perfectly normal for January.

But normal still seems shocking after that record warm December. Let's just say I did NOT drive to work in shorts and a t-shirt this morning like I did on Christmas Eve.

The quote, unquote cold is widespread. New York's Central Park is ending a record 280-day streak of continuously above freezing temperatures. Of course, subfreezing temperatures in January in New York should be considered average.

Snow flurries dusted areas around Washington DC this morning. Again, perfectly normal.

West Palm Beach, Florida got below 60 degrees this morning. Again, very average, but this was the latest first sub-60 degree reading of the season there. The only record was Dec. 24.

Wintry weather will continue across much of the nation this week, as it is January, after all.

Here in Vermont, Lake Champlain is still so warm after that toasty December that the contrast between warm water and cold air is helping to produce persistent snow showers along the southern  half of the lake's east shore.

If you can stand the subzero cold early tomorrow morning, head to the Lake Champlain shore anywhere from Burlington south. You'll see some gorgeous, dramatic steam clouds, and maybe even a brief waterspout if you're lucky.

The weather pattern is already changing, and storminess looms again. Storms are coming into southern California, driven in part by El Nino. Again, kinda normal, though. It is California's rainy season.

But California has been in a drought, so the rain and mountain snow is welcome. Some of the rain might come down too quickly and in too short a time this week, so there's the risk of mudslides and debris flows, especially in places that had wildfires over the past year or two.

The storminess will cross the country, bringing the risk of rain, snow and mixed precipitation to a most of the country.

There's even some hints among some computer models of a nor'easter in New England by next Monday, but that prospect is still iffy.

Plus, another Arctic outbreak is likely to come down from Canada later this week and into the weekend. It will move through the Plains states, the Midwest and eventually the East.

But remember, it IS January, so get used to this.

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