Will There Be a Pattern Change in January?

There is a lot of talk about a potential pattern change in January from warm to cold. But how certain are we this will happen? We will discuss what we know for now.

Currently, the major global forecast models have us pegged for a very warm start to January, as this is the third La Nina winter in a row. Temperatures on New Years Day (Sunday) are pegged to be well above normal! Some locations in the Carolinas could see the 70s, and we would not be surprised if some record highs are set.

GEFS ensemble temperature anomaly for 1/1/2023.

This of course will not be favorable for any winter weather. By the end of next week and into next weekend, temperatures will cool off a bit to the normal range, so highs and lows will settle down to whatever is normal for your area, for the time of year. There could be some storm along the coast that would drop temperatures temporarily to below normal. This is looking like an all-rain event for now.

Then, after that and into the 15th, it appears the ensembles will keep us in the above normal range. This will mean highs in the 50s for many, and likely a pattern that does not favor cold and snow. Below is the Euro ensemble mean valid 1/15:

This is the solid concreate evidence we have to go off of for now. There are some rumblings of an MJO transition into phase 7 and 8, which would mean a colder second half of January. There are also rumblings for a stratospheric warming event which would stretch the Polar Vortex, but where the cold would end up is not clear.

In other words, given these two factors that could change, if not together, could mean a potential pattern change to colder for the second half of January. We will just have to wait and see if any major shifts come into the forecast over the next two weeks.

We will keep you informed as soon as we learn about any changes to the long-range forecast.

For now, get outside and take a walk (if you can do so safely)!

Author: Michael Griffith

I have had a passion for the weather since a very young age and am a degreed meteorologist. I have a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and a Master's from Plymouth State University. If you ever see me out and about in the Charlotte, NC area, be sure to say hi!