Frigid Start To 2018. Strong Storm System To Race Up East Coast. Precipitation Chances Return Next Week.

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a safe and fun night last night ringing in the new year.  Lets work together to make 2018 the best year yet!

If you were out last night you know it is cold.  Strong high pressure firmly in control of our weather.  Cross polar flow from Siberia is funneling dry and cold conditions into our area this week. We have been below freezing area wide for 34 hours now and we will not get out of the 20's today although I expect a few bank thermometers to give false hope of temps at 30 degrees.  Wind chill will be a big factor today.  Winds of 10-15 mph will make it feel like it is in the single digits and teens today.  Clear skies and calm conditions tonight will allow temps to drop like a rock.  Our mountain areas will drop down into the single digits as temps elsewhere bottom out in the low to mid 10's. 

As the remainder of you start back to work and school on Tuesday no doubt you will have to talk your way out of bed and the house.  Temps start off in the low 10's on Tuesday Morning.  Even with full sunshine temps only make it back up into the upper 20's. 

Remember to be careful what alternate heating sources you use inside your home.  Check on the elderly and care for the homeless.  In fact I ask that you list homeless shelters under this post and in our social media post.  It is important to check on your neighbors in a cold spell such as this.   I challenge each of you to do something special for your fellow man this New Year.  I can't think of a better way than to assist a homeless shelter in serving warm meals to help.  Buy that homeless person that is shy and doesn't go to shelter a cup of coffee.  Positive change begins with you. 

Tuesday Night temps will dive again under mainly clear skies, dipping back down into the mid and upper 10's.  Wednesday Morning cyclogenesis will begin off Florida's East Coast.  This low pressure will track Northeast to around Lat 32N or about 200-300 miles East of Charleston.  By Wednesday Evening at 7:00pm pressures are already down to around 990-998mb.  Wednesday Night this low pressure really starts to get it's act together as it moves Northeast.  By 1:00am this low pressure is up to Latitude 34N or approximately 300 miles East of Morehead City, NC.  The low begins bombogenesis at this stage in the game.  Bombogenesis is when a low pressure deepens over 24mb in under 24 hours.  This definitely looks achievable with this system.  Its pressure drops to between 970mb and 980mb by 1am Thursday.  This is the strength of a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane in the warm season.  Winds along the coast will ramp up starting Wednesday Afternoon creating brutal wind chills.  At this point in the game the NAM is a little further west with the precipitation shield, bringing light precipitation back into the Mountains while temps are in the 20's.  The NAM is an outlier though as the global models are in good agreement with keeping the precipitation along and East of I-95.  That looks like the sensible forecast.  I did include a 10% POP on Wednesday for our forecast area and will monitor the later data today.  The bigger story for our area will be the additional cold air that wraps in behind this low pressure as it moves to the North.  Depending on its eventual exact track parts of the Northeast Coast could be looking at blizzard-like conditions, especially along Cape Cod. 

Wednesday I remained optimistic with forecast high temps for the day and didn't change them from earlier forecast packages.  Nonetheless our area will not get out of the 30's this week with Wednesday likely our only day above freezing.  The remainder of the weeks looks dry and cold.  Highs in the 20's and low 30's with overnight lows in the single digits and teens. 

Sunday a system could develop to our West and start to move toward our area in day 8 of this forecast package.  With temps at or below freezing some wintery precipitation could develop by early next week.  This is a week away and we will watch trends over the upcoming week.  Warm weather loves there could be a brief warm up in Mid January with temps getting back up in the 50's but we are already seeing additional signs for cold air late this month.


Chris White

Chief Meteorologist

Foothills Weather Network