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January 8, 2009

Weather Watch

The combination of a northwesterly flow aloft and a series of Alberta clippers, will maintain a cold weather pattern in Otsego County through this second week of 2009.

Temperatures will average a few degrees below normal, but there is no very cold arctic air in sight. Northwesterly winds will bring a few lake-effect snow showers on Friday, otherwise we’ll get intervals of clouds and sunshine and highs in the mid-20’s.

Skies will be mostly cloudy on Saturday with a fastmoving Alberta clipper that will bring mainly light snow, generally around 1” to 3’ across most of our region; highs in the low 30’s. As the storm system intensifies over the Canadian Maritimes on Sunday, a northwest flow will take over with variable cloudiness, some sunshine, and highs only 23 to 28 degrees.

With high pressure over the Great Lakes, Monday will feature partly to mostly sunny skies and highs around 30 degrees. Another fast-moving clipper will bring mostly cloudy skies and a few snow showers on Tuesday, with highs near 30 degrees.

During the first six days of the brand-new year, each day the weather was better than most local weather forecasts had indicated. A classic example was on Sunday and Monday, when skies were supposed to be mostly cloudy all day. The strong northwest wind on Saturday was indicative of an intense storm way up over Labrador, and the wind was a signal that the low would effectively block the next storm system moving eastward from the mid- Mississippi Valley.

Sure enough, as the north Atlantic storm moved very little, and a narrow ridge of high pressure building south from James Bay to the mid-Atlantic states, maintained very dry air, while the western low moved into the Ohio Valley.

In the Cooperstown area early morning lows were around zero degrees, but skies were sunny through the morning and early afternoon, then partly sunny with only some high, thin cirrus clouds, with a high in the upper 20’s. On Monday, cold, rainy weather in the Dallas -Fort Worth was an important signal for clearing skies in Otsego County.

A cold front moved through the area during the early morning hours, with very light freezing rain, then a northwesterly flow of much drier air took over. Mark Hanok is an Otego-based meteorologist. You can visit him on the World Wide Web at http://members.