Impressive cold snap to last through mid-May

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – The warmth is nowhere to be found, in the Northeast anyway. Cold air continues to dominate the forecast over the next week and a half. As of writing this (Tuesday, May 5th) the forecast for the next week has temperatures well below average as an arctic blast of air is poised to plunge southward through Mother’s Day and into the following week. Below is a glance at how close we could be to record over the next seven days.


NOTE: The forecast will change, so the differences will change as we go forward in time. This is a look as of Tuesday morning.

An exceptionally rare pattern for May as the jet stream is stuck in a trough pattern over the eastern half of the United States and a ridge pattern over the western half of the United States. It is likely that this pattern persists until about the 15th of May. Below is an ensemble forecast (dozens of iterations of one model) that shows cooler air represented by blue remaining in the Northeast through the middle of next week.

Where is the warmth? The western half of the country is very mild with many places in the desert southwest seeing a stretch of 90-100°+ days. In fact, the entire earth seems to be warmer than average for early to middle May. Here is a forecast from the GFS for 2m temperature anomaly Saturday Morning. Some of the coldest (compared to average) areas on earth are the Eastern half of the United States, Canada, northern Greenland, Turkey, and Mongolia.

The largest expanse of colder than average air is over the eastern United States.

A few other notes about May here. Last year’s May was a half degree cooler than average, yet temperatures broke 70° twelve times, with the highest being 85° on the 25th. On May 7, 1989, Rochester measured 10.7″ of snow. This is by far the highest amount that has ever fallen in May with the next record being 3.0″ on May 1, 1908 and 3.0″ on May 2, 1909. The latest measurable snow for a season was 0.4″ on May 19, 1976. The latest snowfall ever for a season was a trace measured on May 24, 1925.

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