Polar Vortex or Not, It’s Going To Get Cold Next Week!

I know by now that most of you have heard all of the talk about the polar vortex supposedly making a big return next week. The big controversy has been whether or not this is truly a piece of the polar vortex that has broken off and is moving south. To put it simply, it’s complicated, and I want to keep things simple in this article. I want to point out a few of my observations though. 1) This is very similar to the pattern that set up this winter. 2) This is EXTREMELY rare for July! 3) Looking at forecast model guidance, it looks like the origin of cooler air is from the Arctic.

I don’t think it is bad meteorology to suggest that this is similar to the pattern from this previous winter. All you’ve got to do is look at a 500 mb height map for this upcoming week and one from this this past winter when a piece of the polar vortex came very far south. It looks VERY similar. But before I get into an argument with a bunch of meteorologists, I’ll admit that it is complicated, and there are Ph.D.’s who have studied this type of thing much more than I have. I think we can all agree that this is a rare event for July and will bring unusually cool weather for the central and eastern United States. I’ll leave it at that.

Now let me get into more of what is actually going to happen for the rest of you who only care about how cool it is going to get. Early next week, unseasonably cold air will start to push south into the northern and central United States and will eventually start working its way east throughout the week. Models have many areas with 10 to 30 below average temperatures next week, but keep in mind that this is typically the hottest time of the year. I do think that records will end up being broken with this event especially in the more northern areas of the United States. In fact, temperatures will end up being so cool in some areas that long-sleeves and jackets will probably be needed.

Probability of Below-Average Temperatures
Probability of Below-Average Temperatures

The reason that I always keep such a close watch on weather around the globe is that it can tell us what is going to happen in the states several days (sometimes weeks) down the road. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, that’s how I was able to make predictions on winter storms well in advance without the need of computer models telling me exactly what was going to happen. Obviously forecast models are very helpful, but I only use them as tools, not forecasts. Super Typhoon Neoguri is likely what amplified the jet stream and put us into a winter-like pattern, so it’s always important to watch the weather around the globe.

If you are east of the Rockies, you will feel this unseasonably cold air! Even places fairly far to the south will have below-average temperatures and will have chilly temperatures at night. Areas across the northern United States will be cool during the day and have temperatures likely getting into the 40s at night in many areas further north. We’ll have to see if anyone gets down in the 30s, which would definitely break some records for sure. Generally though, it’ll be 40s and 50s at night, and 60s and 70s during the day. Further south, some areas will get into the 80s. Hopefully this gives you a general idea as to what to expect.

This is a European model temperature anomaly map for this coming Tuesday. This colder air will push east throughout the week.
This is a European model temperature anomaly map for this coming Tuesday. This colder air will push east throughout the week.

As this system moves in next week, many areas could be impacted by severe weather. I’ll have more details on that later this weekend after I study everything a little more. Please like Firsthand Weather on Facebook, where I’ll continue to put out updates on this coming cold air. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the weather next week!! This kind of weather is almost unheard of this time of year, so take advantage of it!

  • Mark

    Yes it will be cold for a couple of days. Then Summer will return. I have seen some who say Summer is over because of this. To that I say What???

  • Lorie

    A good portion of last summer seemed unseasonably cool. Seems like this summer could be similiar. Do you think the climates are shifting?

  • WOW! Sounds intriguing. Thanks for the info 🙂