Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:38 PM GMT on January 11, 2006
A large non-tropical low pressure system is about 500 miles off of the Atlantic coast of Africa, and is located about midway between the Canary and Cape Verde Islands. This low has weakened in the past day, and has developed only a small amount of deep convection, mostly east of the center. The low is forecast to slow drift southward and continue to weaken, and very high levels of wind shear are expected to move over the low by Friday. Thus, it appears very unlikely that this low will develop into Tropical Storm Alberto. Forecast models show no other tropical storm threats developing over the next week, as high wind shear dominates the Atlantic basin.
Those of us living in the eastern 2/3 of North America are wondering--where's winter? After unusually early and severe winter weather gripped the region from late November through mid-December, a very warm weather pattern has brought delight to those of us dreading high natural gas bills this winter--but despair to the skiiers. There is cold air out there this winter--but it's in Asia, and not headed our way anytime soon.
New Delhi, India saw its coldest winter morning in 70 years on Sunday as the temperature plummeted to 0.2 degrees Celsius (32.4 Fahrenheit). Pakistan and the hard-hit quake areas of Kashmir are experiencing their coldest winter in a decade, and China Daily calls the current winter in China the coldest in 20 years. In Japan, a month of heavy storms has piled snow up to three meters high in some areas, and at least 63 people have died and over 1,000 have been injured because of the snow. Many of the dead were elderly people who fell from their roofs while trying to clear snow, while others were crushed when their houses collapsed under the snow's weight.
When is this pattern going to break? According the the GFS model, no major shifts in the winter pattern are expected in the next two weeks. Asia will stay cold. A succession of rain storms will move across the northern half of the U.S. the remainder of January, with only a brief day or two of cold air moving in behind these storms. Eastern North America may have to wait until February before more normal winter weather returns and Asia gets a break.
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