Upcoming Arctic blast points to significant Pacific blocking

It's been an interesting month of weather across Mid-Missouri. Following one of the coldest starts to a year ever recorded across the area, things significantly warmed up. At one point, the average temperature for January was nearly 20 degrees below average. Since then, a warmer latter half of January nearly eliminated that cold, as January will close right at average for the month. 

While the nice stretch of weather was appreciated, Mother Nature is set to deal a dose of reality and remind us that it's still winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Thanks to several key drivers in the atmosphere, we'll see another blast of cold air spill into the nation that will likely make for a very interesting February. One of those drivers is the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), an eastward moving disturbance that journeys earth in the tropical Pacific every 30 to 60 days. 

The MJO isn't well known outside of the scientific community, but it can lead to extreme weather events across the planet. The MJO has been linked to several extreme events here in the U.S., especially Arctic blasts that affect the central and eastern portions of the country.  Studies have shown that the time when the greatest impacts from the MJO is felt in the Northern Hemisphere is from November to March. The MJO, which consists of eight phases is currently set to enter phase 7 and 8 through February, which would support the brutal cold that will likely envelop the nation, as we see a return to bitter cold temperatures. 

Information provided by the Climate Prediction Center shows that as we head into the second week of February, there is generally good agreement that we'll see below average temperatures. Winter is far from over in Mid-Missouri, with signs that the middle of February will be even colder and rival the start of the year. 

Stay with ABC 17 News as we continue to monitor the changing conditions and follow us on Twitter @ABC17Stormtrack.

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