Extreme Temperature Diary- Tuesday December 22nd, 2020/ Main Topic: Update On Cold Outbreak Alpha

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Update On Cold Outbreak Alpha

Dear Diary. Just in time for the Christmas holiday, an Arctic outbreak will occur in the Midwest, East, and South. Meteorological models have not changed much with the timing and severity of the cold wave since I first brought up this weather pattern last Thursday:

Since Thursday the Weather Channel has opted not to name a relatively weak winter storm associated with the outbreak, which will bring light accumulations of snow to the northern Plains along with gusty winds to 40 mph, so we will keep the name of the system as Alpha. Should they decide to change their minds, I’ll also change the name of this cold outbreak in keeping with my new rough guidance:

I almost hesitate to name this cold outbreak since it won’t be very historic in nature and only last a few days. The thing will be a borderline CAT2/3 looking at this morning’s guidance. Temperatures in the Upper Midwest, which will be below average, are quite common during winter. The South will see the brunt of this outbreak as far as temperature anomalies go. For example on Christmas Day I’m forecasting a minimum of 22°F with a max of 33°F. That’s life threatening cold around my home town folks, but far milder than the record daily low set on Christmas Day 1983 of 0°F. We may see less than 50 reports coming into the National Center for Environmental Information’s record site from Alpha.

Here are forecast mins for Christmas Day generated by Pivotal Weather:

By Sunday we will see significant modification:

By Sunday the remains of Alpha will be at CAT1 status, being located over the Northeast.

We will see heavy rain ahead of Alpha, which will wash away much of the snow in the Northeast put down by Winter Storm Gail:

For comparison, the following are surface panels valid for Christmas morning and Sunday morning:

Residents in the Midwest, Northeast and Appalachians will be treated to a white Christmas as rain changes to snow in the wake of the Arctic front, as depicted by the first panel. A clipper located over Iowa as depicted by the second chart will affect mild air into the South and eventually the Northeast, putting an end to Alpha by Monday of next week. There are no other Arctic outbreaks at least as cold as Alpha in the immediate future through the end of this dreadful year.

Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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