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I found this today, written by Accuweather.com's Joe Lundberg who is known
to be very conservative when it comes to forecasting the weather.
Accuweather's JB (Joe Bastardi) is often hyping everything left and right
which makes for a very interesting read, but a lot of times it just gets
your hopes up.  JB has been forecasting extreme cold to enter the
midwestern states pretty soon and then spreading to the east after low
pressure systems drag the cold air south and east (so that's also
forecasting a more stormy pattern).  We do want the core of the cold aimed
at the Great Lakes because that usually allows storms to move up the
coast, if the core of the cold goes into the midwest we still might be
golden, but if it goes into the Rockies it usually spells warmth here.  We
shall see.  But here's a clip from Lundberg's discussion today that
mentions some impressive cold for the midwest and spreading east...

"While the Northeast has clearly shivered the past two weeks, the Plains
have stayed relatively mild. Much of the area from Billings to Fargo to
Chicago to St. Louis to Denver to Billings again is running about 3
degrees or more above average for the first 20 days of January. Any arctic
intrusions have been brief and not all that impressive, by and large. That
appears ready to change, though, and in a mighty way. Last week the
coldest of the cold was aimed at New York and New England, and the
Southeast barely cooled to near normal as the polar vortex rotated through
New England not once, but twice. This time the vortex isn't as intense,
and the trough axis appears to be a little farther west, so the core of
the bitter cold is aimed more at the Great Lakes. That means places like
the Dakotas and Minnesota down into Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan
will get colder than they did in the past outbreaks. Once again, though,
it's a short punch to the abs, and if you tighten them up enough, you can
absorb the blow without TOO much damage.

What lies down the road is almost unthinkable. Notice I'm not talking
storms as yet, just the jet stream and the cold. It is growing more and
more certain that the core of the coldest air will be aimed at the
northern Rockies and northern Plains next week, the kind of cold that is
not just extreme, but life-threatening. I could easily see the 0-degree
line for HIGH temperatures slipping into Kansas and eastern Colorado for a
day, or maybe two, during the latter half of next week. Never mind the LOW
temperatures, which might challenge all-time records in some places! No,
I'm not joking! This is a bitter, bitter air mass, one not to be toyed
with.

Now you might say that I'm jumping on the coattails of JB at this point.
That's a fair statement to make, but I am looking at the progs and
ensembles too, you know, and I am free to draw my own conclusions. And you
probably have figured out by now that I clearly take a much more
conservative approach to things, particularly when it comes to forecasting
the weather. Most of the time, that's a good philosophy to follow, because
the weather doesn't often go to extremes. But if you look back at recent
weather history, I think you can make a very strong case that the weather
has been going to extremes. Let's see, how about precipitation in the East
during the past year plus. There were several locations that set all-time
records for annual precipitation in 2003. There was Isabel in September.
If I recall properly, that was a pretty nasty hurricane. More recently,
how about record warmth in parts of the Southeast (even farther north,
too)? Or the December blizzard in New England? And then, of course, the
bitter blast from the arctic that grabbed all the attention Wednesday,
Thursday, and Friday of last week? If we had seen one or two of those type
of "historic" weather events in the past 12 months, then I'd say it
happens on occasion, and move on. But to see so many in such a small
window leads me to believe we're not done yet. And since the models have
often UNDERDONE what has in reality occurred, I think I stand on pretty
firm ground when calling for record-challenging frigidness later next
week."

http://wwwa.accuweather.com/adcbin/public/news_columns.asp?type=lundbergj
That is the rest of the column but it'll probably change tomorrow.

-Scott

PS: Periods of snow possible tomorrow with 1-4 inches mtns and a dusting
in the valleys of northern VT and NY.  Pretty darn cold again this
weekend, but nothing we haven't seen in the last couple weeks.  Storm
system still looks to pass south of New England next Tues or Wed but will
be monitored.  It does look like a low pressure system will slowly move
from the Great Lakes ENE to north of Burlington and this one could provide
periods of snow for the middle of next week to the end of the week...no
real periods of heavy snow, but a constant light to moderate snow with the
potential of putting down 5-10 inches over the course of 36hrs.

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