What Happens With Lake Erie This Week Could Lock in Bitter Cold for Youngstown

We are now going on day four of having sustained temperatures below 20 degrees. If we do not reach 20 degrees tomorrow then it will likely be another seven days before we get another chance to see that “warmth”.

As you may have noticed everything is freezing over and quick. The good news is that it will stop the lake effect snow off of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is forecasting a mean concentration of ice above 50% by January 3rd.

At this rate the ice could cover 75% of Lake Erie by the end of the first week in January. This also could be a problem for those people wanting a warm up. Here’s why:

gfs_t2m_a_f_greatlakes_12Above is the temperature anomaly map for Sunday morning. In the green are temperatures 10 to 14 degrees below average. That’s cold! However, notice on the northern end of the lakes where the temperature anomaly is 30 to 40 degrees below average!

Are you following me here?

This means that the Great Lakes act like a buffer when it comes to the brunt of the bitter cold air masses we’ve seen so far. If the Great Lakes freeze over then those greens you are seeing above will be replaced with more purple and maroons. The models are even showing this change too.


Here is the expended forecast for temperatures. Just four days ago the temperatures around Jan 8th through 12th where in the 40s. There has been a major shift downward as far as expended temperatures.

The confidence for the cold sticking around is growing as well. On the left is the two week outlook for temperatures, and confidence is above 50%. Plus the confidence for a colder January is growing as well.

This means that this cold could be here to stay for the long haul.


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