My friend Matt Lanza posted this on Facebook today:
Speaking in terms of Oregon Trail this winter has thus far been plagued by dysentery, cholera, and a snakebite. Although the pattern change over the next 5-7 days is significant it appears the atmosphere will almost immediately revert back to a torch.
The growing consensus is for a large ridge of high pressure to deliver near record or record warmth across a large portion of the central and eastern U.S. in the next 7-15 days. An exceptionally hostile Pacific with a developing strong +EPO is ready to flood the lower 48 with warm air.
You can see the beginning of the torch in the 8-10 day 500mb height anomalies with a retrograding ridge moving from the Aleutians and Bering Strait toward Russia and a developing strong trough over the Pacific Northwest and eventually Alaska.
This is just a hideous, hideous pattern for people who want cold or snow. In fact the signals are growing for an exceptionally impressive burst of warmth across the southern plains and into portions of the midwest by day 10. Temperatures near 80 could reach places as far north as Kansas City, MO if some models like the operational Euro are to be believed.
The European weeklies that came out last night were also exceptionally mild during weeks 2 and 3 (days 12-25) across almost the entire continental United States and adjacent Canada.
It’s possible we revert back to cold by the second half of February but if the first half of winter was any indication I wouldn’t count on it. Things don’t look good now for winter lovers – but as with all long range predictions things can change quickly.