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New England: This Week's Cold Spell Could Rival Last Two Years

Highs could be in the single digits for several days

There is still the potential for the coldest air in a couple of years in part of the Northeast during the first week of January 2013.

The cold push from the Arctic is coming in stages during the first week or so of 2013. During a couple of episodes into next week the flow could rival low temperatures achieved during all of the winters of 2011–12 and 2010–11 for part of southeastern Canada and northern New England.

Highs could be in the single digits for a one to several-day stretch from northern upstate New York to northern New England with highs in the teens to lower 20s farther south.

Two channels of cold air will drive southeastward from northern Canada.

One channel will deliver solid cold, typical of average or below-average temperatures from the northern Plains to the central Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic. This air will also be modified by the open, relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes through the first week of 2013. Downwind and south and east of the Great Lakes, temperatures will fall short of the benchmark lows in most locations.

A second channel, containing the coldest air may slip in between the Great Lakes and south of Hudson Bay, aiming for northern upstate New York, New England and southeastern Canada during the first weekend of 2013. It is in this area where benchmark low temperatures have the greatest chance to be reached.

Fresh snow cover over much of the Midwest, Northeast and southeastern Canada will work to help preserve the cold air. Much of New England and neighboring Canada now have a deep snow cover.

Cloud cover produced by the Great Lakes and weak disturbances will work against the severe cold at night. Clouds tend to act asa blanket, reflecting the escaping warmth back down to the surface.

Where winds drop off and the sky stays clear much of the night, temperatures could fall into the abyss.

Regardless of whether or not temperatures plummet at night, the sustained cold will allow some ski resorts in the region to make snow around the clock.

While seasoned-veteran residents in the region may not think much of the cold weather in January, it will have some shock value for some folks given how warm recent winters have been.

Sustained cold weather or arctic outbreaks are very hard on the elderly, homeless and those with respiratory problems.

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