Thursday, December 28, 2000

Cold, hard facts about the freeze

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        So why has it been so cold for so long?

        The current pattern is being created by a global wave system that has pushed a cold-air trough throughout the eastern United States, while pushing a high-pressure system over Greenland — where temperatures are unseasonably high, reaching into the balmy 30s.

        Europe is also in the midst of a trough and is seeing weather that is colder and wetter than normal.

        Such systems occur frequently during a year, but meteorologist Shannon White of the National Weather Service's Wilmington office said this one is particularly strong.

        “It's bringing through snow systems, but those aren't powerful to move the system,” Ms. White said.

        The weather service's 30- and 90-day forecasts don't call for relief — with lower than normal temperatures predicted for most of Ohio, along with higher than normal precipitation levels. Kentucky's long-range forecasts call for normal temperatures but above-average precipitation.

        “The low temperatures are definitely abnormal for December, but get used to it,” Ms. White said. “We're pretty much stuck in this weather pattern until at least early next month.”

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