The Ottumwa Courier

November 19, 2012

Midwest forecast includes great traveling weather

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — If we agree that last week was “less cool” than average for this time of year, then we can consider the upcoming week downright warm.

“The pattern this winter [is that] we’ve had some shots of cold air, but nothing that has stuck around,” said Roger Vachalek, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, which keeps records for the Wapello County area.

Local temperatures last week, expected to have hovered around 50 degrees, instead pushed up against 60. This week, the expected average of about 49 degrees will be displaced by highs in the lower 60s.

“Maybe even approaching 70s by Wednesday,” Vachalek said. “We’re going to have some very decent holiday travel weather here in the Midwest.”

It’s not a nationwide occurrence, he explained. By Thanksgiving, Oregon and Washington state will see cold and stormy weather. In New York, temperatures might reach a high of 54.

“We’re seeing some variability,” said the meteorologist. “But that variability has been either normal temperatures or warmer temperatures.”

This isn’t a weather pattern that’s expected to last, he said.  

“We are just the benefactor of this pattern until about Thursday,” he added. “A ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere [has created] warmer temperatures at ground level.”

Wait. What did he mean “until about Thursday?”

 “This weekend, we will be back into the 40s — temperatures [more] normal for this time of year,” Vachalek said. “Right now, we’re still far above normal. So enjoy it.”