Well the cold is finally about to get here! We’ve been pretty much talking about this coming Arctic outbreak non-stop for the last week now, and not a lot has changed since then. I do want to stress again how dangerous this cold air will be, and if at all possible, please stay indoors. All Minnesota public schools have already been closed for Monday, and I’m sure that other states will do the same thing. Wind chill warnings have been issued for many states in the Northern Plains, and hard freeze warnings have already been issued in central Alabama. I expect those hard freeze warnings to be expanded and issued for many additional areas in the next day or so.
This will end up being a notable and memorable outbreak that could rival several of the well-known cold blasts from the past. I still think that many areas will experience the coldest temperatures in decades, but as I stated in my earlier updates, this is not cold air that is going to stick around for good. I do think we’re going to lock into a cold pattern later in the month that could keep the central and eastern United States very cold going into February. That won’t happen until temperatures moderate for about a week or so beginning next weekend. By this time in a week, I’m sure we’ll be hearing about how this winter is over and how the cold is gone for good, but don’t believe it. We’ll just be getting a nice little break before it gets cold and stormy again by mid to late January.
Let me briefly give you the timeline of the cold for next week. If you look at a current temperature map, you’ll see that it’s already very cold in the Northern Plains, and as that cold continues to push south today going into tomorrow, those temperatures will not do anything but go down. As the polar vortex center moves over the Great Lakes region, the cold air will push south and east on Monday, and by Monday night going into Tuesday morning, temperatures will be brutally cold for the Plains, Ohio River Valley, Deep South, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. Temperatures will remain extremely cold into the day on Tuesday and will remain well below average for many areas on Wednesday and Thursday. There is a solid snowpack across the northern U.S., which will cause temperatures to be even colder.
The Green Bay Packers play San Francisco tomorrow at Lambeau Field beginning at 3:40 pm CT. Could temperatures rival the extreme cold back in 1967 during the infamous Ice Bowl? It’s very possible, and even if it doesn’t get down to minus 13 like it did back in 1967 during that game, it will be very close! Regardless, wind chills will be down to minus 30 by the end of the fourth quarter so if you’re at that game, you’d better bundle up!
Be sure to like our page on Facebook if you haven’t already. I’ll be putting a lot of updates on there in the coming days. That’s all I have for now. Have a great day!
Matthew Holliday is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Geographic Information Science. He is currently pursing his master's degree in meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University. Matthew founded Firsthand Weather in 2010 as a senior in high school and maintained the site through his undergraduate career. Research that was conducted by Matthew while at OU involved determining the synoptic environment in which various types of wave clouds (including vertically propagating waves and trapped waves) develop in Boulder, Colorado and Norman, OK. Matthew also did research on spatial changes in tornado activity across the United States . The goal of this study was to determine if spatial changes in tornado activity had occurred and if those changes could be linked to changes in average surface dew point temperature. Matthew has completed coursework in dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud physics, calculus and differential equations, statistics, remote sensing, GIS, synoptic meteorology, and mesoscale meteorology. His goal is to provide his audience with a deeper understanding of what drives our weather and climate, while making it easy and enjoyable to learn.