Return of the Cheek-Numbing Cold

Today begins an 8-9 day stretch of cold weather that will easily be the most prolonged bitter cold spell of the entire Winter. During the cold snap of 2 week ago, we had a morning with a low of -12 and the wind chill was around -35. This week will not feature readings that cold, but this stretch may be PERCEIVED as worse because of how long it will last.

It’s not often I can put out a 7 day forecast with this many “skinny numbers” on it:



So which mornings will “feel” the worst?

Here are Wednesday morning’s projected Wind Chills:

chillswedamThat’s about -5 or so here (much worse in NW Ohio!)

Here’s Thursday morning:

chillsthursamIt should feel like it is around zero or a bit lower.

Friday morning is likely to feel quite a bit colder as a fresh batch of arctic air arrives:

chillsfriamBack down to -5 or so.

The WORST Wind Chills are likely to occur early NEXT week…check out next Tuesday morning’s numbers:

tuechills-25? Yuck.

A couple of weeks ago, the term POLAR VORTEX got a lot of attention, in fact WAY too much attention. The Polar Vortex is a permanent feature in the northern latitudes. It is nothing new at all. Often when it gets cold in our part of the world, it’s because the Polar Vortex has dipped south of its usual home….resulting in arctic air getting shoved south. This will happen over the next week or so.

The Northern Hemisphere weather setup by Saturday will look like this:


The “L” is the Polar Vortex, centered over southern Canada. The big ridge of high pressure will remain over the West Coast, resulting in more dry weather where they desperately need rain.

Next Tuesday….not much will have changed:

nexttueglobeThe flow of air will be from the North Pole to the Plains to the East Coast. A cold flow, that’s for sure.

This stretch of harsh cold will go a long way toward determining how this Winter will go in the history books. From December 1 until now, it’s actually been fairly typical in the temperature department. Many, many recent Winters have been colder through January 20 than the current one (blue circle):

wintersThe winter of 1976-77 (and 1977-78) was remarkably cold, much colder than the rest of the last 40 winters.

As I said, this cold snap will last 7-9 days, taking us almost to the end of the month. After that, long-range computer models suggest that February will start with more tolerable weather….perhaps near average for Groundhog Day. Average is the black straight line; the white boxes and green bars are the forecast:



Thanks for reading and have a great Tuesday!






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