500-mb height anomaly

The big talk of the town recently has been the Polar Vortex. You’ve seen the temperature headlines, I’m sure of it. It’s been a pretty big deal because of the time of the year that it is happening. If this pattern would’ve set up this past winter, it would’ve created some pretty impressive snows.

Som you see that blob of blues and greens swirling around the Great Lakes and Eastern Canada? That’s the Polar Vortex bringing all of the cold. It’s kind of just sitting and spinning right there – as it has been for a couple of days. To oppose that, the west is seeing warmer-than-normal conditions.

The Cold

The cold is going to be one of the most notable effects of this Polar Vortex, as implied by ‘polar.’ Record lows could be seen all the way down to the Gulf coast this weekend. Record low possibilites are denote by the number with a square around them.

Frost and Freeze Concerns 5/9/2020

The fact abouyt this cold, is that it won’t be a quick shot of cool air – it’ll last for a good chunk of time so cool, crisp mornings are expected through the middle of next week.


The East Coast largely lacked a winter this year. Some of the major U.S. cities in the Northeast, saw record-low snowfall this season and now that it’s May, of course, snow is in the forecast.

Snowfall expected through Mother’s Day

Now, a May snowfall is not all that rare. For areas in the Southern Appalachians, this will come as the first snow during May in a while but they’re not looking at a major storm. Rather, just light snow and a dusting of accumulation is possible.

Up in the Northeast, the snow expected is again, not all that rare to see but considering we have barely seen any snow this last winter, this is impressive.

Where the snow will be more impressive will be in the interior and northern areas of the northeast. Upwards of a half a foot of snow could fall in the higher elevations making this Mother’s Day likely a white one for some.

The Heat. The West.

Saturday Afternoon Highs and Possible records

While the east sits under a cool trough, the west will be warming up under a hot ridge. This is most notable in the desert southwest where upper 90s and lower 100s have been frequent. Drought conditions are growing and fire dangers are rising. This is not a great setup for the west as we could see wildfires really increase in this area.

The Monsoon season will kick into gear over the next few months and hopefully it’s a healthy monsoon season so we can alleviate these drought conditions.

What’s to Come?

The upcoming 2 weeks will be identified by a warming trend in the East 2/3rds are the country and a largely wetter pattern for most of the Lower 48.

~ Rain or Shine
I’m Andy Stein

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