2013-14 Winter Forecast – January through February

Let me just go ahead and get this out there for anyone who may be wondering. We are about to set up for what looks like to be one of the coldest winters in decades for the central and eastern United States. We have been studying this upcoming winter since this summer and are highly confident that parts of the United States will experience temperatures well below average and potentially record breaking in many areas. Not only will many have to battle the bitter cold, but there will be many regions that will get copious amounts of snow causing hazardous road conditions, loss of electricity, and flight delays.

January has already started out very cold for many in the United States, and once we get into the first full week of January, we are going to be dealing with what could end up being a potentially record-breaking Arctic outbreak. This will feature about 3 to 5 days of bitter cold from the Plains to the Ohio River Valley to the Northeast and extend into areas of the Deep South. Although the United States has already had several Arctic outbreaks so far this season, this will be the strongest and most newsworthy outbreak yet. Many areas will get temperatures that they have not had in decades, and some areas will get record low temperatures. This will end up being a dangerous Arctic outbreak that should not be taken lightly. This cold air will push particularly far to the south and will likely kill crops in many areas that typically do not experience this kind of cold, even in the winter months.

Despite how severe this Arctic outbreak may end up being, it is not going to “set in” for the longterm. Temperatures will “moderate” across the central and eastern United States after this push of severe cold moves through, and we will likely be dealing with normal and maybe even above normal temperatures across the central and eastern U.S. During this time, the western U.S. may experience below average temperatures. However, all of this will be short-lived, and as we move into middle January, the central and eastern United States could lock into a cold pattern that would bring long-term cold, lasting well into February.

Don’t be tempted into thinking that the worst of winter is going to be over once we get past the first full of week of January because in reality, it will just be getting started. As I’ve mentioned several times, this Arctic outbreak next week could potentially be historic, so any warming that occurs afterwards will seem like a huge warmup relative to the cold that we will have just experienced. If you haven’t picked up on this already, our weather from now till the middle of January could be characterized by a lot of ups and downs, but beyond that point, I’m thinking that we will lock into a very cold pattern for the central and eastern United States. How many times have I said that already? A lot, so it’s very important to note!

From middle to late January going into February, bitter cold air and snow will be a common theme from the Plains down to the Deep South on up to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Areas that rarely get snow and ice will likely get it in this time frame. The Western U.S. will likely be experiencing above average temperatures and drier weather during this same time. Damage to crops will be common in the Deep South, so this will definitely not be a good winter for the farmers in Florida. Ridging will likely be building over Alaska during this time with blocking over Greenland. The NAO/AO will be negative and the polar vortex will be weak, which will likely result in the splitting of the vortex. This will cause the cold, Arctic air to funnel down into the central and eastern United States, and because of the MJO phase that we’ll likely be in at that time, ridging will be occurring over the West. If we do indeed get a pattern like this to set up, which is currently strongly being indicated, this pattern will lock in and will give us a winter that we haven’t experienced in decades.

I have also accounted for the lower sunspot activity and the above average autumn snow cover over Siberia, which all indicate a colder winter for the central and eastern U.S. Snowfall will be above average particularly for the eastern U.S., and as I stated earlier, many areas could get snow that typically do not get it. If you like cold and snow, I’ve got a feeling that many of you are going to finally get the winter that you’ve been waiting for.

Please continue checking back with our site for further updates and definitely like our page on Facebook if you haven’t already. We keep that page updated on a daily basis. If you have any questions for a specific region, please ask us in the comments, and we’ll do our absolute best to respond in a timely manner.

Firsthand Weather's 2013-14 Winter Forecast
Firsthand Weather’s 2013-14 Winter Forecast – Click Image To Enlarge
  • What do you expect for Tishomingo Co. In extreme Northeast Ms?

  • What about Corinth MS

  • carrie

    According to the provided map, you can expect “well below average temperatures and above average snow/ice.”

  • Tina Dunn

    We live in Augusta, Georgia what do you see for us over the next 6wks? Thanks

  • Will it snow in waynesboro ms 39367

  • Jane Joyce Russell

    Was wondering what you think the winter holds for us here in The Eastern Panhandle of WV? Any big snow’s coming our way, just some little snow’s or not much. Thank you!

    • matthewhlldy

      I think you’ll end up with some pretty good snow amounts before it’s all said and done. The cold will definitely be in place later in the month going into February.

      • Jane Joyce Russell

        Oh wow, thanks Matt! 🙂

  • Trevor S.

    How good are the odds of Columbia, SC getting a good snow or 2 this winter season?

    • matthewhlldy

      I think the odds are much better than the last two winters.

      • Trevor S.

        Thanks for what ya’ll do! I’ll keep checking back daily to see whats up next on the weather front!

  • Kimberly Johnson Smith

    Do you think Northeast Texas could see a significant snow this winter?

  • bcasebolt

    I agree with our area of northern Montana except I think we will get more snow. Seems whenever we get a wet summer/fall we get a lot of snow the following winter.

  • Valerie

    Do you think it will be bitter/unbarable cold through January here in Tulsa?

  • ShePlays2Win

    What is it looking like for Northeast Texas into March as far as temps are concerned?

  • Beth

    What about Southern Georgia? Any snow chances? Thanks 🙂

  • BillHowell

    What is the link that describes your forecast model / reasoning? Is your approach merely based on standard meteorological techniques, which seem to be of reducing relevance over a limited period of 1 to 2 weeks? Have you run any comparison to Piers Corbyn’s forecasts http://www.weatheraction.com ? ….
    I did click around, but it would help if it was a top-of-web-page selection.

  • Amanda Lynn Mitchell

    What does the green mean in that map? Any snowfall?

  • David R.

    Hey Matt. Just heard about you today and have spent the last hour reading a lot of your previous posts and predictions. You’re a very talented forecaster. I’ve liked and bookmarked the Facebook and blog respectively.

    I’m from Cullman, AL (in North central Alabama). I know we’re going to be seeing more colder air but what about snowfall or ice? We rarely get more than a dusting to an inch around here. What are your thoughts, my new friend?

    David R.
    Cullman, AL

  • kelly duncan

    How will this affect the weather in Northwest MS. Snow? cold?