Well, it's hotter than hell out there!! is it really winter? The calendar says it is, but for those in the east, the weather says it's spring. Wow, the recent warm weather pattern has been great for most of the consumers out there who have saved a ton of money on heating bills this month, which might help pay off those hefty holiday credit card balances.
The National Weather Service is saying that temperatures will continue to be warmer than normal across most of the country over the next 10 days. But, don't tell the folks in Denver that. It's clear now that winter is making it's presence felt in the western and central states, as snowstorm after snowstorm continues to pound those areas. Travel came to a standstill in Denver last week for several days prior to the Christmas holiday. Now, as they are finally recovering from that storm, a second blizzard is moving in. One of my friends in Denver reported that it's been snowing at the rate of an inch an hour for the past several hours there today. Denver can expect this snow to continue for the next 2-3 days before the storm finally pulls out. Add another 1-2 feet to the two feet of snow they currently have, then add in 45 mph winds, and it's easy to see why just about all travel in and out of Denver will come to a standstill once again.
On the other hand, the east has been on the warm side of the active storm track for just about the entire month of December. People are already clamoring about global warming and climate change. But hold on a minute. The temperatures at the north pole are currently averaging 4 degrees below normal, good news for those threatened polar bears, and that cold air continues to be bottled up at the poll.
Eventually that brutally cold air is going to make it's move southward. I originally thought that it would be sometime this week, but the polar jet stream has not made it's move yet. The longer it takes for that air to makes it's move, the colder it will be. The models are starting to see that cold air making it's move around January 10-15. When that happens, temperatures in the central and eastern states will become brutally cold. It's looking more and more likely that the second half of January will be much colder than normal, and that might make those in the east forget about this warm spell we've had, as winter finally makes it's presence known.
When the polar jet does finally dive southward into the U.S. there will certainly be a storm that develops along the sharp temperature gradient. Right now, it looks like that will occur toward mid january, and it could end up being quite a snowstorm for people in the east that haven't seen much snow yet this year. Looks like there is a big pattern change coming around mid month, so don't pack up the winter coats and snow shovels just yet. Get out and play golf, go hiking, visit the zoo, toss the football around, or whatever outdoor activities you enjoy the next 10 days, but keep in mind, things are about to change. Yes, winter may be late this year, but winter has a habit of making up for lost time.