I’m up early. It is cold but a little less windy. The wind must be on shore in Boston, for it is up to 33. (+1 Celsius) Meanwhile in Jacksonville I see it is 28, (-2 Celsius) and in a western suburb of Jacksonville it is 23. (-5 Celsius) In Tallahassee I see it is 25 at 4:00 AM. So they match me, in the hills of New Hampshire, for we are also at 25. -4 Celsius)
I must be a mean sort of fellow, for I always get a snarkie satisfaction when the people who bailed out on their communities to flee the northern cold get chased down by the cold. However I do feel for the farmers down there, who must have their sprinklers spraying like mad, to try to beat the frost.
This is the peak of the cold wave, sort of like when the wave has charged up the beach and is all around your sand castle, but the water is just starting to suck back down to the next wave. What weather geeks are focused on is how soon the next wave will come, and how far back the cold will draw before the next wave comes charging.
In the winter of 1976-1977 the cold just kept coming, in some ways more like a stream than a wave, straight down from the North Slope of Alaska, all December. However Joe Bastardi has been examining other analog winters on his blog at Weatherbell, and in other analog cases there was what he calls “a pull back” during December, before winter grew more extreme again in January.
It is a case of pick-your-poison, for if we do get a break in December, the winters seem to last longer. In 1976-1977 the worst was over in early February, though by no means did it become spring-like, until a day I still fondly remember, in mid-March.
We only had a dust of snow last night. At 5:15 AM it is still starry out, with the the starlight slightly dimmed by some sort of high haze. There is still no sign of dawn. An owl gave me a single “Whoo-hoooo” just as I turned to go in. Maybe it was a “good morning”, though it sounded more like something vaguely rude.
Here is a map of the high tide of our first arctic outbreak: