[Crossing a snowy bridge. From pixabay via NOAA]
[NOAA] Many areas of the country this week will feel the coldest temperatures that have been felt since last winter. To give you a better idea of the coldest time of year for your area, NOAA has created “Coldest Day of the Year” maps across the nation. The maps are derived from the 1981–2010 U.S. Climate Normals—NCEI’s 30-year averages of climatological variables including the average low temperature for every day. From these values, scientists can identify which day of the year, on average, has the lowest minimum temperature, referred to here as the “coldest day.”
The map reveals several interesting regional differences across the country. Most prominently, the western half of the contiguous United States typically reaches its climatological coldest day in December, whereas most eastern stations reach their minimum in January. In addition, areas with higher snowfall Normals, such as the Northeast and high-altitude regions in the West, tend to reach their climatological coldest day much later, which is likely because of the increased reflection of solar radiation at Earth’s surface due to the presence of snow cover.
Temperature Normals are important indicators used in forecasting and monitoring by many U.S. economic sectors. Knowing the probability of low temperatures can help energy companies prepare for rising heating demand. They are also useful planning tools for the healthcare, construction, and tourism industries. You may want to check the Normals before planning your next event or vacation.
[Average annual extreme minimum temperatures. 1976-2005]
Edited for WeatherNation by Meteorologist Mace Michaels
Wow! Tons of rain in the past 24 hours and unfortunately tons more to come in the next 24 hours. A high risk of flo… https://t.co/Rdlgib2WI01 hour ago by WeatherNation
More videos coming in from Mississippi showing the dangerous flooding conditions! Several inches of rain fell int… https://t.co/QJpFZGbO4l1 hour ago by WeatherNation
Severe storms roll over parts of Mississippi this evening! More severe weather weather is expected tonight and to… https://t.co/B1s7v9dPgA2 hours ago by WeatherNation
Nearly 3 feet of snow fell in just one day in Flagstaff, Arizona where a 100 year old record was broken. This amaz… https://t.co/niNNlx18983 hours ago by WeatherNation
BLIZZARD WARNINGS issued for parts of Kansas and Nebraska. Snow and strong wind gusts on the way for the Plains on… https://t.co/TtWDz2x0hB5 hours ago by WeatherNation