Share

Coldest Air of the Season

By: Nick Wiltgen
Published: March 14, 2013

Last Hurrah for Bitter Cold

The Arctic air first plunged into the Upper Midwest on Saturday, Jan. 19, reaching northern parts of North Dakota and Minnesota where temperatures tumbled throughout the day.

By Sunday, Jan. 20, parts of this region stayed below zero all day, including Grand Forks, N.D., and International Falls, Minn.

The bitter cold spread south and east on Monday, Jan. 21. Minneapolis-St. Paul logged a high of -2 that day, the first subzero high there since Jan. 2009; the streak of four years and six days without a subzero high was the longest on record there, and nearly a year longer than the previous record streak.

Des Moines, Iowa, also ended a record streak that day, reaching a low of 2 below zero and ending a 710-day streak without a subzero low, the longest such streak for Iowa's capital.

(MORE: Arctic Blast Won't Let Go)

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, both Chicago and Rockford, Ill., fell below zero for the first time in 711 days. For Rockford, this was the longest at-or-above-zero spell on record, and it was the fourth-longest in the Windy City.

Other lowlights Tuesday included lows of -30 in International Falls; -33 in Ely and Bigfork, Minn.; and -37 in Big Black River, Maine.

The big chill hit the East Coast on Tuesday as well; New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., all recorded their highs for the day between midnight and 1 a.m.

On the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 23, Reagan National Airport in the nation's capital fell to 15 degrees, its coldest reading since March 3, 2009. Philadelphia (12 degrees) and New York (11 degrees) noted their lowest temperatures since Jan. 24, 2011.

Other frigid readings Wednesday morning included -36 at Estcourt Station, Maine, and -24 at Saranac Lake, N.Y.

While winds were light over the lower elevations, the mountains of New England experienced high winds and brutal wind chills. The feels-like temperature bottomed out at 86 below zero on top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and 63 below zero on Mount Mansfield in Vermont.

Follow Nick on Twitter


Featured Blogs

More Water For California: New Enormous Water Works Programs Are Expensive

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 18, 2014

From November 2013 - January 2014, a remarkably extreme jet stream pattern set up over North America, bringing the infamous "Polar Vortex" of cold air to the Midwest and Eastern U.S., and a "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" of high pressure over California, which brought the worst winter drought conditions ever recorded to that state. A new study by Utah State scientist S.-Y. Simon Wang found that this jet stream pattern was the most extreme on record, and likely could not have grown so extreme without the influence of human-caused global warming.

A Warm Winter in Alaska

By Christopher C. Burt
April 18, 2014

In contrast to much of the contiguous U.S., the National Weather Service (NWS) in Alaska noted in a post this week that Alaska has enjoyed its third warmest ‘winter’ on record for 2013-2014. The period of time they are calling ‘winter’ is for the six months of October 2013 through 2014. Here are a few details.

I am a Failed Father

By Shaun Tanner
April 17, 2014

Being a father is very hard! I know, I sound like a whiner, but I felt especially bad this week when I caused my daughter to miss the lunar eclipse.

Polar Vortex, Global Warming, and Cold Weather

By Stu Ostro
January 10, 2014

Some thoughts about the recent viral meme(s).

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.

Astronomical VS. Meteorological Winter

By Tom Niziol
March 1, 2013