Arctic Air Blasts into the Midwest
Winds howled throughout the upper Midwest as a cold front moved across the region yesterday. The most impressive wind gust reports included the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport at 55 mph and Jordan, MN at 61 mph.
The highest winds were reported in the green shaded areas stretching from central North Dakota to western Michigan.
After this front passed over, the cold air poured in from the north. Temperatures this morning were up to 32 degrees cooler than 24 hours ago.
When the front came through Bismarck, ND temperatures plummeted nearly 20 degrees in just 3 hours.
Not quite as dramatic in Chicago but still noticeable. From 11 pm to 5 am, air temperatures fell about 20 degrees. It will remain cool today but even colder tomorrow with an afternoon temperature around 6 degrees.
It remains breezy throughout the region but the strongest winds have subsided. However it doesn’t take a very strong wind to keep those wind chills below zero. Wind chills below zero this morning in the all the pink shaded areas and will likely stay below zero through the duration of the day.
Actual temperatures (not even factoring in the wind chill) in all the blue shaded areas are below zero tonight and most of these same areas will still stay below zero through the day tomorrow.
This will mean dangerously cold conditions will be taking over the region. Numerous Wind Chill Warnings and Wind Chill Advisories are in effect.
Calculating wind chill wind wind speed and temperatures:
Note that with a wind chill in the -40 degree range, it only takes 10 minutes for exposed skin to become frostbite.
Snow Spreads East
Very little moisture was associated with this cold front. But with the winds picking up over the Great Lakes, lake effect snow is being generated along the western edge of Michigan and into New York.
The air is generally still coming out of the Southwest across much of the Northeast so another mild day on tap. However, winds are ramping up the system approaches. Wind Advisories and Warnings in effect for most of the region.
The spotlight will be on our nation’s capital tomorrow as Obama is inaugurated for a second term as our 44th president. The actual inauguration will be today but all the festivities will be tomorrow. Cooler, cloudy weather coming for Monday. There is even a slight chance of snow by the end of the day.
While the Midwest stays in a deep freeze, the rest of the nation enjoys sunshine and mainly mild temperatures.
The cold air sinks south and east Martin Luther King Day. Check out St. Louis, MO. High of only 18 degrees!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!