Cold air lingers for most of this workweek across the mid Atlantic region and much of the Southeast in the wake of the recent historic snowstorm. Additional precipitation is on the way to these same regions by the end of the workweek into next weekend (Dec 15-16), but strong warming to above average temperatures already underway across the majority of the Plains and Midwest will gradually expand into the East ensuring most late week precipitation will remain rain. Above average temperatures and more rain than snow across the Eastern half of the U.S. are part of a prolonged mild pattern by early winter standards which all recent model forecasts extend into late December. However, as government models with 2-week forecast horizons extend into the final week of December all latest runs are latching onto early stages of the next fundamental pattern shift re-establishing arctic air nearby in southern Canada. Government models appear to fast to dislodge arctic air into the U.S. as the 30-day MWA ensemble continues to delay onset of sustained below average temperatures to the 1st week of January. More importantly the long range model continues to indicate this as a highly stable cold pattern in which arctic air focuses more directly southward through the Great Lakes and Northeast to predominate mid-late January.
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