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Date: 1/15/2014

Title: Winter Pattern Continues to Hold

What we have experienced over the past several weeks (drought and warm in the far west and big cold and snow in the nation’s midsection) is likely going to continue through the rest of January.

A strong ridge of high pressure will maintain itself over the west coast and will extend north into the Gulf of Alaska. This will keep California and many areas of the Desert Southwest warmer and continued drier than normal for a while longer. However, this same pattern will force more cold out of the far northern latitudes and into the Northern Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast.  

Be ready for a return to colder temperatures and increased snow chances for the rest of the week in the Midwest, Corn Belt and Northeast with more cold air surges and snow chances coming this weekend and next week. Even looking farther ahead into the last 10 days of January we see high potential for another serious outbreak of very cold air in the same very places that experienced the severe cold in early January.

Like the last cold outbreaks some of the cold will extend far to the south and into the southeastern states and perhaps even into the Gulf Coast, especially at the end of the month.

Any warm up or thaw we receive between the cold surges will be short lived and any warm up should not be construed as a permanent  trend to warmer temperatures, at least  for most of the nation east of the Rockies through the remainder of January.

Odds are also trending in the favor of February getting off to a cold and snowy start as well.

For beef producers on the western edge of the colder air intrusions (east slopes of the Rockies and adjacent plains) your temperatures will be on a roller coaster ridge as you are in the battle zone between the cold to the east and the warm and drier weather to the west.