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Feeling the ripple effect of global weather

Expect a bit of rain as the work week begins.
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On this Monday, as we face a thrashing wind and a rain storm from a low brushing northeastward off our coast, I’d like to invoke a word that has some heavy political and social intones: “globalization.”

But this time, I mean it in the sense of global weather. We are, especially all around the northern hemisphere, global. We’re tied together. Weather events halfway around the globe send ripple effects, called teleconnections, that affect our weather right here in New York a week or two later.

Take the tumultuous weather in California. A persistent upper-air trough of reduced air pressure, parked just off the West Coast, is once again pounding the Golden State with snow and rain its drought-parched land is ill-prepared to totally absorb. Los Angeles is swimming today in a fresh flood of two more inches of rain (Former President Obama’s family picked a lousy time to vacation in Palm Springs). But that’s all about to change —and change things here in the Big Apple.

That West Coast trough is about to get dislodged, and head inland, to be replaced by sturdy mountain, or “ridge,” of stable, highly-pressurized air that will let California really dry out well in to February.

But as California takes a deep breath and gets its famous sunshine back, we take the consequences: colder air. That same ridge — which will meander somewhere around the West Coast into February — pokes northward into Canada, and what goes up, must come down, like a rollercoaster. The ridge will block the warming Pacific from us, forcing shots of cold, Arctic air riding down its eastern flank — smack toward us!

You’ll notice the colder regime Friday, with occasional disturbances from the northwest bringing snow flurries through the weekend. Daily highs will average in the low-mid 30s, with nights in the 20s, sometimes teens.

Don’t you just love globalization?

The week ahead

  • Today: Rain and strong winds through tonight; high 43.
  • Tomorrow: Cloudy, periods of light rain; high 44.
  • Wednesday: Partly sunny and mild; high 50.
  • Thursday: Variable clouds, cooler: high 45.
  • Friday: Becoming mostly cloudy, colder: high 39.
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy, chance of flurries: high 36.

Michael Friedmann, a New York-area meteorologist, can currently be seen on metropolitan area cable news on weekends. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WeatherTalk ."

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