US cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

Jan. 7, 2018: Fishing trawlers sit on the frozen harbor of Lake Montauk surrounded by thin sheets of ice in Montauk, N.Y. A quick study of the brutal American cold snap found that the Arctic blast really was a freak of nature. Climate change wasn’t a factor but it is making such frigid weather spells much rarer. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

We are in the midst of our second arctic cold blast of the past seven days.

Temperatures fell for most of the day Saturday, and that will continue Sunday morning.

We will start in the low teens, about a 30-degree drop from Saturday morning. An arctic high-pressure system will sit overhead.

We are expecting a good amount of sunshine and light winds, so it will help with the chill. However, a new streak of below-32 weather will kick off.

Hats, gloves and thick socks will be needed again for the bus stop or any expedition outdoors Monday morning. Single digits are expected early in the morning.

We then try to rise above 32, but we should stay just at the freezing mark.

Tuesday through Thursday will be active. Temperatures still fail to rise above 32 as the Canadian air keeps funneling in.

An Alberta clipper system will also funnel into the region. This will pass through Tuesday night into early Wednesday.

Like most clipper systems, this will bring fluffy snow showers across the area, without the heavy accumulations. What is more interesting is what happens after the clipper leaves the coast.

After it exits the shore, a piece of upper-level energy with the clipper will try to parlay itself into a coastal low-pressure system for Wednesday into Thursday.

In the weather world, we could call this a Miller B storm. This would intensify as it moves north and east.

Could we see snow from this coastal system? Sure. However, we would need a few things to go right.

First, the system has to develop off the Virginia or North Carolina coast to really give us good precipitation. That is not a given.

Second, the upper-level system has to parlay itself into a coastal system.

We will be able to sketch out the details in Monday’s column.

For now, anticipate flakes in the forecast for Tuesday night into early Wednesday. That should not be a big deal for us.

For now, bundle up, set-up a fire if you can and take in the second arctic snap of 2018.

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This is my first newspaper but not my first forecast for NJ. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers. Two TV internships gave me a taste for the newsroom. Then, after nearly 4 years in private NJ weather, I'm forecasting South Jersey for you.

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