|Jackson the Weather Dog looks a bit chilly in this|
photo taken a couple of winters ago. He'll have
to prepare himself for more winter temperatures
due to arrive at his St. Albans, Vermont home
in roughly a week or so.
Or sure, there have been scattered bouts of winter here and there.
There was a brief blizzard in the northern Plains. And is that 20 inches of snow on the ground already in Caribou, Maine?
However, it has seemed like winter has been a reluctant character so far this season.
That is about to change.
An Arctic outbreak is set to plunge into the western United States from Canada early next week then spread eastward during the course of the week.
This Arctic air won't be the worst ever, but you'll know it's winter in the northern Rockies and northern Plains next week. I'm pretty sure there will be widespread below zero readings out in that neck of the woods.
As is usual with these kinds of things, there will be storminess as the cold air advances eastward across the nation. It's a little soon to tease out exactly who will get what kind of winter weather or other inclement weather, but its' a safe bet unsettled weather will also west to east across the nation next week along the leading edge of the cold blast.
There might even be some severe weather around the Gulf Coast states as the cold air approaches that area.
Once the cold air becomes established around the Great Lakes, there's a good bet that the lake effect snow squalls will really get going. The lake water temperature is above normal, so the contrast between the warm water and the cold air will be stronger than usual. That could lead to some areas getting epic lake effect snow fall totals.
In the eastern third of the nation, the cold air will probably not be as intense as further west, since the cold air isn't taking a direct route from Canada to get to the eastern United States.
Still, pretty much all of the United States will be chillier than normal by the end of next week.
Again, this won't be a blockbuster, but since we're so used to warmth, it'll be a shocker.