12/30/15: Back to Warmth… Then cold.

For the time of year, it has certainly not been all that cold, granted on both December 27 and December 28 some NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network) stations did record minimums around -20° F, but of course, by North Dakota standards that is not unusual this time of year.

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December 27, 2015 Minimums

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December 28, 2015 Minimums

 

But it clearly has been colder than most of the past few weeks, yet, this cold air is being slowly pushed out of the area as a ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere (500 mb) builds into the northern plains.   This should bring in above average temperatures to North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota this weekend into early next week.  With average maximums only in the 10s in many locations in the state this time of year, above average will mean 20s for maximums with perhaps a day or two at 30° or warmer in locations with a lighter snow cover.

10 Day 500 mb height and Anomaly Projections from the ECMWF WMO-Essential

10 Day 500 mb height and Anomaly Projections from the ECMWF WMO-Essential

 

Beyond next week it appears much colder air will move back into North Dakota.  My feelings are that January will finish with above average temperatures, but at no where near the  level that January did.  So more of a taste of winter coming in other words.   No major snow foreseen in the next week.  So quiet and a bit warmer in the short term.

Daryl Ritchison

 

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