A shot of cold air will astonish easterners who have become accustomed to this moderate winter. But the core of the coldest air will stay in Canada for the next few weeks.
Take a look at these maps from the medium-range forecast models. The maps cover North America. The purples and reds are the coldest air and the blues and yellows are warmer air.
This map, for Sunday night*, is for the time when the air will be coldest over the northeast, when a storm brings a quick dump of 2 to 6 inches of snow along the northeast coast.
While next week will be colder than we’ve had for much of this tepid winter, notice that the coldest air remains over central eastern Canada, with cold air being only a tourist, rather than making an extended stay.
The next forecast map, for over a week from now on Sunday, Feb 19, shows the next shot of cold air, also following an east coast storm. While the details of this forecast are too far in the future for the details to be certain, the prediction of a small amount of cold air behind the next system shows us that the cold air is not serious about chilling us out in the long term.
For more maps, see http://weather.unisys.com/gfsx/index.php?r=us
(*Feb 13 00Z = midnight Greenwich Time which is 7pm Eastern Standard Time on Feb 12)