Accuweather: 100-Degree Warm-Up Ahead for Some States Next Week

February 12, 2011

From Accuweather:

A major, prolonged warm-up is finally on the way for the eastern two-thirds of the nation next week.

After a record-shattering, frigid morning with lows well below zero in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas Thursday, temperatures could jump nearly 100 degrees in some areas by late next week.

A change in the overall weather pattern will allow milder air to spread through this region, as well as the rest of the Plains, Midwest and parts of the East, over the next few days. A more substantial warm-up will follow next week.

In the areas of Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas where temperatures dropped between 20° and 30° below zero F Thursday morning, highs in the 60s are in the forecast for late next week.

In some areas, temperatures could even make a run for 70°. This would be close to a 100-degree warm-up from Thursday morning’s frigid lows.

and they add:

In the process, much of the nation’s snowcover will be wiped out toward the end of next week.

At the Wunderground blog, Dr. Jeff Masters puts this winter’s snows in perspective:

As northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas dig out from the two feet of snow dumped this winter’s latest epic snowstorm, it’s time to summarize how remarkable the snows of the past two winters have been. So far this winter, the Northeast U.S. has seen three Category 3 (major) or higher snow storms on the Northeast Snowfall Impact (NESIS)scale. This scale, which rates Northeast snowstorms by the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm, runs from Category 1 (Notable) to Category 5 (Crippling.) This puts the winter of 2010 – 2011 in a tie for first place with the winters of 2009 – 2010 and 1960 – 1961 for most major Northeast snowstorms. All three of these winters had an extreme configuration of surface pressures over the Arctic and North Atlantic referred to as a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). In this situation, the band of winds that circles the North Pole weakens, allowing cold air to spill southwards into the mid-latitudes.

In the past twelve months, we’ve had six major Category 3 or stronger storms on the NESIS scale, by far the most major snowstorms in a 12-month period in the historical record. Going back to 1956, only one 12-month period had as many as four major snowstorms–during 1960 – 1961. New York City has seen three of its top-ten snowstorms and the two snowiest months in its 142-year history during the past 12 months–February 2010 (36.9″) and January 2011 (36.0″). Philadelphia has seen four of its top-ten snowstorm in history the past two winters. The Midwest has not been left out of the action this year, either–the Groundhog’s Day blizzard nailed Chicago with its 3rd biggest snowstorm on record. According to the National Climatic Data Center, December 2010 saw the 7th greatest U.S. snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, and January 2011 the 5th most. December 2009 had the greatest snow extent for the month in the 45-year record, January 2010 the 6th most, and February 2010 the 3rd most. Clearly, the snows of the past two winters in the U.S. have been truly extraordinary.

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