Happy New Year! A personal note to start off to say I have very busy week ahead to start the year with a couple of medical appointments, an American Meteorological Society committee meeting, and a couple of personal and family related matters to deal with that will interrupt my usual posting routine. I will do what I can, when I can, as best as I can as the week unfolds. Thankfully, there is nothing of widespread concern, but there are a couple of things to be aware of.
Temperatures feel more like April to start the year
Several records have been broken or tied between daily highs and warm overnight lows across northern areas along with Augusta in the south. The normal high and low for Caribou is 23° and 6°, and for Portland 34° and 18°. Even with the clouds and periodic shower activity over the north temperatures topped around 20° above normal there. With the sun out over the coastal plain, that also helped for the daily highs to be 20°+ there.
Looking back at history for Portland and Caribou, we've had a few warm first of January days...
The all-time high for January 1st in Portland was 56° set back in 1966. At last check, the Jetport reached 55° unofficially, so it appears that record will stay intact.
Caribou's all-time record high of 48° for the day was set back in 1945, and that record won't be challenged as the unofficial daily high there is 39°.
We're not challenging and setting records as of yet as this anomalously warm air sticks around through Wednesday.
Upper-level outlook for the week
Sunday 7 PM to Friday 7 PM - The two main hotspots on the continent this week are the deep south and the west coast. The south deals severe weather on Monday and Tuesday thanks to a sharp upper-level trough digging there. The west coast gets hammered midweek thanks to a strong upper-level low that taps into an atmospheric river stretching from Japan all the way to California. As forecasters we apprehensively quip at times that droughts don't end well, this is Exhibit A going on there. The Oriental Express is expected to bring major snow to the Sierras and an unrelenting fire hose of rain that will go on for days. You'll be seeing some epic stories on this. Pray for them and the folks down south also as they will get lit up, too.
For us in the east a split flow sets up keeping the area warm and void of any significant systems. The cut-off upper-level low feature is where most of our activity comes from mid to late week. The ridge collapses enough to allow temperatures to fall back to average from Thursday onward.
A chance for showers and mixed precipitation