We didn’t pick up any snow as an Arctic cold front sliced through the area on Saturday, but it sure made it’s presence felt in other ways. Wind gusts around the area topped 50mph in a lot of spots. Here’s a look at a select few from Saturday afternoon/evening.
Behind a cold front temperatures drop, but with this Arctic cold front Saturday afternoon, temperatures fell off a cliff. The highs made their way into the 40s early, and by the evening, the wind chills were in the teens below zero. Here is a timeline as the temps dropped Saturday.
Arctic air will continue to pour into the area over the next several days. The Upper Air Pattern shows the warmer air in the west indicated by the orange and yellows and the bitter cold coming out of Canada by the darker purples. The “Polar Vortex” is in play this time around. You can clearly see the closed doughnut hole in southern Canada which represents the center of it. It usually hangs out in northern Canada, but has drifted south supplying the eastern two thirds of the country with Arctic air. The coldest air in this part of the world is found under that Polar Vortex.
In my opinion this Arctic outbreak is extremely impressive. We will likely see afternoon highs the coldest we have seen in over four years and we are doing it without snow on the ground. Snow acts as a refrigerator and helps the atmosphere cool much faster when we have a good base on the ground. We could be flirting with records if we had some snow. While it is going to be extremely cold over the next week and especially over the next couple of days, it could be MUCH colder if we had some snow on the ground.
Here is just a list of where this cold stands in perspective with the record for the day and the record all time. It was pretty chilly back in the 1800s! While we won’t be as cold as the temperatures with the actual air temperature, wind chills Monday and Tuesday morning could be in that ball park! Stay warm. It only takes 30 min or so to get frostbite with exposed skin with these dangerous wind chills!
This post was written by jkegges on January 20, 2013