A cold shot is looming for the eastern United States next week. This will likely be the coldest weather of the season thus far for the Ohio Valley and southeastern United States. Undoubtedly, we’ll begin hearing talk of the impending doom that is the Polar Vortex. However, just know it’s hype for cold weather is coming.
So where’s the cold coming from and why is it coming here? Well, cold air will spill into the region from Canada. This will occur as a longwave trough moves to the northeast of the region. A strong ridge will then move into the western United States. This will put much of the eastern United States in a northwest flow, allowing the cold air to spill into the US.
So how cold will it get? Well, let’s start off by saying this is still nearly a week away, so nothing is set in stone. However, there is the potential for temperatures to run 10-20° below average for the region. Some places to the north could experience temperatures some 30-40° below average. That’s some nasty cold weather for early to mid winter.
Although I don’t like showing model data several days prior to a potential event, the above GFS Model depicts temperatures in the single digits across the area. Remarkably, freezing temperatures can be found as far south as the Gulf Coast, with temperatures well below zero in the northern Ohio Valley.
For what it’s worth, the European and Canadian Models both agree with the GFS that bitter cold will infiltrate the eastern United States next week. The National Weather Service is also depicting temperatures in the single digits across south central Kentucky. Time will tell what will really happen. Just know that our first big cold shot will likely arrive next week.