The Lower 48 and Europe enjoyed a mild start to winter but will be transitioning into a period of colder and possibly even snowier conditions through at least the mid-point of January. This will lead to a surge in heating demand on both sides of the Atlantic.
ECMWF and GFS models forecast that after an unusually warm December driven by El Nino, lower 48 temperatures from Thursday through Jan. 15 will trend around a 30-year seasonal average of about 37 Fahrenheit. After the mid-point of the month, the latest GFS Operational model shows a cold snap could be in play.
Talk of a "polar vortex" has been increasing on social media platform X by notable meteorologists.
It's type to start hyping the "Polar Vortex" again -- just like 10-years ago. It's coming in a week.
Here's what you can do to prepare:
Stock up on wood, toilet paper, and beer.
Make sure your significant other has her snow shovel or snow blower ready to go. pic.twitter.com/B0uF4Ccjdo— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) January 3, 2024
Blog now public & it's a big one! Hard to keep up with all the #PolarVortex tap dancing in the coming days. I try my very best & as I discuss lots of potential of #winter weather in the coming weeks. Had to use the Vulcan mind meld to make sense of it all: https://t.co/Gg8N2KIjJS pic.twitter.com/dbI6a1I1Rr— Judah Cohen (@judah47) January 3, 2024
Across North West Europe, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe, ECMWF and GFS models forecast average temperatures will begin to plunge below seasonal norms through the weekend into next week.
"Colder conditions will soon invest Europe more widely, with temperatures steadily dropping later this week into next week," Andrew Pedrini, a meteorologist at Atmospheric G2, told Bloomberg.
Maxar Technologies said London is expected to record a low of 19.4 Fahrenheit on Monday. Further north, folks in Stockholm are bracing for single-digit temperatures on Sunday.
The impending cold snap in Europe has led Finland's transmission system operator to warn customers about using electricity during peak morning and evening hours.
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