New York/New England Brief But Dangerous Arctic Blast!

Regional SSTA Report: Anomalous Warm Gulf of Mexico = Major East-central U.S. Precipitation Events!
01/31/2023, 4:21 pm EST
Typical of 3 of Past 4 Years: A Very Warm January in The U.S.
02/02/2023, 2:49 pm EST
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Fig. 1: Latest NOAA/NWS weather watch, warning, and advisory areas.

Discussion: Glancing at precipitation observations from the past 2-3 days reveal that 0.5 to 1.0 in. of ice accretion has occurred in parts of central Arkansas with (near) 0.5 in. in north-central Texas. Ice Storm Warnings remain in effect for these two zones (Fig. 1). Latest forecasts indicate an additional 0.1 in. of ice may occur this morning from Northern Texas to Western Tennessee. Flooding due to heavy rain continues in northeastern Texas to northwestern Louisiana. The next high impact event is an incoming arctic air mass likely most intense over New York and New England tomorrow into Saturday as Wind Chill Warnings are posted. Trailing the arctic front wind gusts to 40-50 mph can cause power outages arriving at a time when wind chill index is routinely 20F to 50F below zero (Fig. 2). An extremely dangerous period begins tomorrow afternoon with peak power outage/extreme cold risk early Saturday.

Fig. 2: Maximum wind chill for the incoming arctic air Saturday morning in the Northeast U.S.

Other high impact climate events ahead are potential for extreme rain in Texas during the 6-10-day period while the Southeast/Mid-south U.S. encounter a similar risk in the 11-15-day period. All rain as the U.S. pattern turns much warmer after the arctic air departs New England on Sunday although the backside of the Texas event later next week could produce some snow

The latest U.S. gas population weight HDD forecast us unchanged from 24 hours ago and continues to indicate sharply lower heating demand (Fig. 3). The very warm January of 2023 is thematic of recent mid-winter warmth (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3: The gas population weight HDD forecast using all models, their consensus and compared to 24 hours ago plus the 10-day/30-day normal.

Fig. 4: The October through April monthly HDD anomaly observations for the past 3 years compared to the 2022-23 observations and forecast.