The Mid-South is experiencing the first taste of winter today as arctic has spread across the region. Wind chills are barely above freezing across the Bluegrass as light rain is falling. There may even be some sleet or flurries later tonight. Lake effect snow will occur all across the Great Lakes as the arctic air moves across the relatively warmer lake water. The good news is this arctic blast will quickly come to an end and temperatures will be warmer than normal by the end of the work week.
The current upper air maps show exactly why it is so cold. A very vigorous jet stream is funneling arctic air straight into the central and eastern United States. Synoptically, the are not any strong storms on the map, but the vort max rounding the base of the trough will explosively deepen in just 24 hours to produce a very strong nor’easter with blizzard conditions across the Catskills, Adirondacks, and other portions of interior New England. There will likely be widespread damage to forests in this area as the wet snow and winds gusting to 50 mph combine to bring down branches and trees. This storm will probably end the leaf-peeping season as well for much of New England. Away from the storm, lake-effect snow will continue to fall in the lee of the Great Lakes.
The flow will become zonal as the jet streak rides up the eastern side of the trough Wednesday. By the end of the work week, the atmosphere will be in a split-flow pattern with the Mid-South right in the tranquil center. Temperatures will warm back up to near 70 in Bowling Green as the return flow of the arctic high brings Gulf air back into the region. The long-range pattern shows a warm-up for the first 10 days of November. Both the European and GFS models show a ridge over the eastern United States. .