Arctic Blast To Put Northern US In Deep Freeze

Written by on February 21, 2014 in NatGasWeather - No comments

Impressive Arctic Blast To Put Northern US In Deep Freeze

 

An extremely cold Arctic blast is still on track to arrive next week and last through the following weekend.  The current massive springlike storm over the Midwest and Northeast will wind down later today with cooler conditions filtering into the Plains and Midwest.  Temperatures will still be relatively mild through Saturday apart from the first push of very cold air into the northern Plains.  It will be this blast of very cold Canadian air that sweeps across the northern US Sunday which sets the stage for a week long period of strong natural gas and heating demand due to temperatures plummeting to well below zero over all of thee Midwest and much of the Northeast.  It will be the Tuesday through Thursday blast of Arctic cold that will settle over the Midwest, especially the Great Lakes region, like a thick dome of dense molasses.  The core of the coldest air will be dangerously cold with temperatures dropping to -20 to -30F for several nights in the Midwest.  In addition, temperatures in the single digits and teens will push deep into the Mid-Atlantic, leading to hard freezes and exacerbating national heating demand.  Where the cold air stalls over the eastern US will likely set the stage for a wintry mess of precipitation setting up.  Weak Canadian Clippers will track through the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast at times with light snowfall as well, but any systems will be moisture starved, liming accumulations.

 

The extreme cold should finally abate late next weekend, easing nat gas demand. This cold pattern should come to a temporary end as a strong winter storm will likely be traversing the nation around March 3rd and 4th.  This could push a brief warm up into the Northeast for several days, easing nat gas and heating demand.  However, what lurks on the backside of the storm is potentially another shot of very cold air over south-central Canada that could very well get pulled right into the Plains and Midwest to keep the cold pattern ongoing. We expect the pattern after March 3rd to be quite messy and the coming forecast data to continue to whipsaw.  But we do think it will remain quite chilly over the northern US with below normal temperatures, just not as extreme as what is coming with next weeks big bad Arctic. But the pattern to end the first week of March is starting to become more convincingly cold.

 

 

Very cold temperatures will push into the Midwest and portions of the Northeast as lows drop below -20F Tuesday through Thursday of next week.  The boundary of cold air all week will be from around Tennessee/North Carolina

 

natural gas weather

The latest forecast data continues stay in line with our thinking that the cold will hold through March 3rd as a powerful winter storm comes out of the Plains and allows a strong surge of warmer air into the Northeast. However, there is still very cold air over central Canada and is depicted by the dashed blue 480 line. This is another near Arctic cold type air mass. If this set up were to hold true, The strong winter storm would wrap the cold around and right into the northern Plains and Midwest, likely keeping the cold pattern going past the first week of March. Shaded is precipitation on March 3rd in inches of rain or melted snow. We are not saying this storm will play out exactly like this but the pattern favors it and what happens the second week of March will hinge on how this plays out.

 

natural gas weather

The image shows temperatures will be 15-30F colder than normal across the much of the central and eastern US next Thursday. This will lead to high demand for nat gas and heating fuels. A hard freeze is expected to push deep into the Southeast as well.

 

natual gas weather

Around March 2nd and 3rd, the extreme cold should ease and the pattern will need a breather. This will bring an exciting opportunity for strong winter storms to spin up as milder jet over the southern US attempts to interact with a colder more polar like jet over southern Canada. This can play out in many ways and we expect forecast models to struggle during this time.

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