Bitter cold in St. Lawrence County could last for 10 days, meteorologist says
Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 2:38 pm

By CRAIG FREILICH

Arctic air coming down from northern Canada is expected to envelop the North Country with below-zero temperatures at night for about the next 10 days, according to the National Weather Service.

Beginning tonight, lows generally will dip below zero and highs will reach only the single digits during the day, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Andy Nash at the weather office in Burlington, Vt., which covers our area.

That would not be unusual for this time of year, but the length of the predicted cold snap could stretch our tolerance.

“The wind pattern is swinging from southwesterly flow to west to northwesterly winds, and the cold will cover he North Country and the whole Northeast,” Nash said.

That’s because the jet stream, a strong high altitude current which typically divides the cold northern air from warmer air to the south, is moving to our south.

“It is now more to the south of our area now,” Nash said.

That allows the colder air to seep into the North Country and over a much larger area that will reach in a U shape down into the Tennessee River Valley.

Looking at the current jet stream map, Nash said as the stream moves east, “it makes a turn from British Columbia and then dives southeast into the Tennessee Valley, and then makes another turn north over the mid-Atlantic” in the U shape that leaves the North Country in the well of the U.

Nash said that it looks like that pattern will “pretty much stay that way for about 10 days.

“There will be little changes here and there, but I don’t think there’s any chance of above-normal temperatures anytime soon. It doesn’t look like the pattern is going to change to unexpectedly warm.”

At the same time he doesn’t think the temperatures will be dipping into unprecedented cold. He said it doesn’t look like we will see any kind of low temperature records.

“It’s quite a predictable cold pattern” when the jet stream does that, Nash said.

We hope his prediction of 10 days doesn’t get extended.