Coldest Arctic Outbreak in at Least Two Decades is Expected This Week in Parts of the Midwest

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Jul 7, 2004
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Coldest Arctic Outbreak in at Least Two Decades is Expected This Week in Parts of the Midwest
By weather.com meteorologists
3 hours ago
weather.com










Volume 90%





00:49
How Long Will the Extreme Cold Temperatures Last?
Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari looks at the places that could see the coldest temperatures this week.
At a Glance
  • Dangerously cold conditions are forecast in the Midwest this week.
  • Parts of the Midwest will see their coldest weather in at least two decades.
  • Wind chills values will fall into the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero.
  • The Northeast will also see bitter cold temperatures late this week.
Extreme arctic cold will plunge into the Midwest this week, creating dangerously cold wind chills and likely dropping temperatures in some cities to their lowest levels in more than two decades.
The central and eastern United States have been in the grips of a much colder weather pattern in the second half of January, and conditions this week will be the worst yet.

(CURRENT MAPS: Temperatures | Wind Chills)




Current Wind Chills
By Wednesday and Thursday, morning lows may reach the minus 20s in the Twin Cities, with minus teens and minus 20s in Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago and Milwaukee.

Subzero-cold lows may extend through much of the Ohio Valley and into the interior Northeast by late-week. Thursday will be the coldest day along the Northeast Interstate 95 corridor with lows in the single digits from Washington D.C. to Boston.




Forecast Morning Lows
Here are the last dates the following cities were as cold:

  • Chicago last plunged to minus 20 degrees on Jan. 18, 1994.
  • Des Moines, Iowa, last observed temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees on Feb. 4, 1996.
  • Milwaukee last reached minus 15 degrees on Jan. 5, 1999. The last time it was in the 20s below zero was early-February 1996.
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul last plunged to minus 25 degrees on Dec. 26, 1996.
  • Detroit last was minus 15 degrees on Jan. 16, 2009.
As you can see, the outbreak this week may be the coldest in more than 20 years in parts of the Midwest and will threaten a number of daily record lows in some areas.

A few of the potential daily record lows this week include (record-to-beat is shown):

Wednesday: Chicago (minus 15 degrees); Cleveland (minus 4 degrees); Des Moines, Iowa (minus 17 degrees); Detroit (minus 4 degrees)

Thursday: Chicago (minus 12 degrees); Cleveland (minus 4 degrees); Detroit (minus 7 degrees); Pittsburgh (minus 3 degrees)

There could also be a few cities that come close to all-time record lows for any day of the year on Thursday morning. This includes Chicago which may be within a few degrees of its all-time record of minus 27 degrees set Jan. 20, 1985. Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, Iowa, could also dip to near their all-time record lows of minus 29 degrees and minus 34 degrees, respectively.

(MORE: Arctic Outbreak Likely Won't Break Many All-Time Temperature Records)

By midweek, daytime highs will likely not rise above zero in a large portion of the Midwest and may not rise out of the single digits in the Ohio Valley. On Wednesday, Chicago could threaten its all-time coldest high temperature of minus 11 degrees.




Forecast Highs
This bitter cold will be accompanied by strong winds at times Tuesday through Thursday, leading to life-threatening wind chills in the Midwest that could lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes. A large swath of the Midwest will have wind chills in the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero by Wednesday. A few spots in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota may see wind chills in the 60s below zero.

This may rival some of the coldest wind chills on record in Minnesota, using a wind chill scale adjusted in 2001, and may approach values seen rarely in Chicagoland, according to Dr. Brian Brettschneider, climatologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Brian Brettschneider@Climatologist49



Chicago (O'Hare) has a record low wind chill of -58°F (Jan 10, 1982/Dec 24, 1983). Since 1946, they've had 6 days with a wind chill ≤ -50°F, 18 days ≤ -40°F, 101 days ≤ -30°F, and 440 days ≤ -20°F. [Note: the 1982/1983 will chills were under -80°F using old formula].
NWS Chicago

@NWSChicago

The forecast lowest wind chills of the historic, brutal cold snap coming this week, Wednesday morning. #ilwx #inwx


20

8:25 PM - Jan 27, 2019
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See Brian Brettschneider's other Tweets



Incredibly, wind chills in the minus 60s and 70s, even a minus 81 degree wind chill, were observed Monday in northern Manitoba and southern Nunavut, Canada, according to the National Weather Service.

The Northeast will have its coldest wind chills Wednesday night into Thursday morning, ranging from the 20s and 30s below zero across the interior to the single digits or teens below zero along the Interstate 95 corridor.

(MORE: What You Need To Do To Prepare For Extreme Cold)




Wednesday's Forecast Wind Chills
The National Weather Service has issued various wind chill warnings, watches and advisories across the Midwest. These alerts are issued when wind chills are forecast to be dangerously cold.




From that National Weather Service
Late-January Cold Plunge Notables
Here are a few notables about the cold weather we've seen since the weekend of Jan. 19-20.

  • International Falls, Minnesota, set a daily record low of minus 46 degrees on Sunday morning, Jan. 27. This also tied as the fifth-coldest temperature on record there for any day of the year.
  • Kabetogama, Minnesota, had the coldest low temperature Sunday morning, Jan. 27, at minus 49 degrees.
  • Madison, Wisconsin, set a daily record low of 23 degrees below zero Saturday, Jan. 26, which was its coldest morning since Feb. 3, 1996.
  • Saturday morning, Jan. 26, Dubuque, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois, set daily record lows of minus 20 degrees and minus 22 degrees, respectively.
  • Chicago and Milwaukee dipped below zero for the first time this season Friday morning, Jan. 25.
  • Worcester, Massachusetts, tied its daily record low of minus 6 degrees Monday, Jan. 21. The wind chill at that time was minus 34 degrees.
  • Muskegon, Michigan, set a daily record low of minus 12 degrees Monday, Jan. 21, topping the previous record for that date of minus 5 degrees.
  • Temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s below zero during the weekend of Jan. 19-20 in northern Minnesota, though no daily record lows were set.
 

oks10

Territorial Marshal
Sep 9, 2007
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#2
Coldest Arctic Outbreak in at Least Two Decades is Expected This Week in Parts of the Midwest
By weather.com meteorologists
3 hours ago
weather.com











Volume 90%





00:49
How Long Will the Extreme Cold Temperatures Last?
Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari looks at the places that could see the coldest temperatures this week.
At a Glance
  • Dangerously cold conditions are forecast in the Midwest this week.
  • Parts of the Midwest will see their coldest weather in at least two decades.
  • Wind chills values will fall into the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero.
  • The Northeast will also see bitter cold temperatures late this week.
Extreme arctic cold will plunge into the Midwest this week, creating dangerously cold wind chills and likely dropping temperatures in some cities to their lowest levels in more than two decades.
The central and eastern United States have been in the grips of a much colder weather pattern in the second half of January, and conditions this week will be the worst yet.

(CURRENT MAPS: Temperatures | Wind Chills)




Current Wind Chills
By Wednesday and Thursday, morning lows may reach the minus 20s in the Twin Cities, with minus teens and minus 20s in Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago and Milwaukee.

Subzero-cold lows may extend through much of the Ohio Valley and into the interior Northeast by late-week. Thursday will be the coldest day along the Northeast Interstate 95 corridor with lows in the single digits from Washington D.C. to Boston.




Forecast Morning Lows
Here are the last dates the following cities were as cold:

  • Chicago last plunged to minus 20 degrees on Jan. 18, 1994.
  • Des Moines, Iowa, last observed temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees on Feb. 4, 1996.
  • Milwaukee last reached minus 15 degrees on Jan. 5, 1999. The last time it was in the 20s below zero was early-February 1996.
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul last plunged to minus 25 degrees on Dec. 26, 1996.
  • Detroit last was minus 15 degrees on Jan. 16, 2009.
As you can see, the outbreak this week may be the coldest in more than 20 years in parts of the Midwest and will threaten a number of daily record lows in some areas.

A few of the potential daily record lows this week include (record-to-beat is shown):

Wednesday: Chicago (minus 15 degrees); Cleveland (minus 4 degrees); Des Moines, Iowa (minus 17 degrees); Detroit (minus 4 degrees)

Thursday: Chicago (minus 12 degrees); Cleveland (minus 4 degrees); Detroit (minus 7 degrees); Pittsburgh (minus 3 degrees)

There could also be a few cities that come close to all-time record lows for any day of the year on Thursday morning. This includes Chicago which may be within a few degrees of its all-time record of minus 27 degrees set Jan. 20, 1985. Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, Iowa, could also dip to near their all-time record lows of minus 29 degrees and minus 34 degrees, respectively.

(MORE: Arctic Outbreak Likely Won't Break Many All-Time Temperature Records)

By midweek, daytime highs will likely not rise above zero in a large portion of the Midwest and may not rise out of the single digits in the Ohio Valley. On Wednesday, Chicago could threaten its all-time coldest high temperature of minus 11 degrees.




Forecast Highs
This bitter cold will be accompanied by strong winds at times Tuesday through Thursday, leading to life-threatening wind chills in the Midwest that could lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes. A large swath of the Midwest will have wind chills in the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero by Wednesday. A few spots in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota may see wind chills in the 60s below zero.

This may rival some of the coldest wind chills on record in Minnesota, using a wind chill scale adjusted in 2001, and may approach values seen rarely in Chicagoland, according to Dr. Brian Brettschneider, climatologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Chicago (O'Hare) has a record low wind chill of -58°F (Jan 10, 1982/Dec 24, 1983). Since 1946, they've had 6 days with a wind chill ≤ -50°F, 18 days ≤ -40°F, 101 days ≤ -30°F, and 440 days ≤ -20°F. [Note: the 1982/1983 will chills were under -80°F using old formula].​
20
See Brian Brettschneider's other Tweets


Incredibly, wind chills in the minus 60s and 70s, even a minus 81 degree wind chill, were observed Monday in northern Manitoba and southern Nunavut, Canada, according to the National Weather Service.

The Northeast will have its coldest wind chills Wednesday night into Thursday morning, ranging from the 20s and 30s below zero across the interior to the single digits or teens below zero along the Interstate 95 corridor.

(MORE: What You Need To Do To Prepare For Extreme Cold)




Wednesday's Forecast Wind Chills
The National Weather Service has issued various wind chill warnings, watches and advisories across the Midwest. These alerts are issued when wind chills are forecast to be dangerously cold.




From that National Weather Service
Late-January Cold Plunge Notables
Here are a few notables about the cold weather we've seen since the weekend of Jan. 19-20.

  • International Falls, Minnesota, set a daily record low of minus 46 degrees on Sunday morning, Jan. 27. This also tied as the fifth-coldest temperature on record there for any day of the year.
  • Kabetogama, Minnesota, had the coldest low temperature Sunday morning, Jan. 27, at minus 49 degrees.
  • Madison, Wisconsin, set a daily record low of 23 degrees below zero Saturday, Jan. 26, which was its coldest morning since Feb. 3, 1996.
  • Saturday morning, Jan. 26, Dubuque, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois, set daily record lows of minus 20 degrees and minus 22 degrees, respectively.
  • Chicago and Milwaukee dipped below zero for the first time this season Friday morning, Jan. 25.
  • Worcester, Massachusetts, tied its daily record low of minus 6 degrees Monday, Jan. 21. The wind chill at that time was minus 34 degrees.
  • Muskegon, Michigan, set a daily record low of minus 12 degrees Monday, Jan. 21, topping the previous record for that date of minus 5 degrees.
  • Temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s below zero during the weekend of Jan. 19-20 in northern Minnesota, though no daily record lows were set.
I sure hope they cancelled school... I know they bundle their kids better up there than we do (my wife has walkers that come to school in shorts on days when its below freezing outside...) but still. -45F and a HIGH in the (-)teens?!
 

cowboyinexile

Have some class
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Jun 29, 2004
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I sure hope they cancelled school... I know they bundle their kids better up there than we do (my wife has walkers that come to school in shorts on days when its below freezing outside...) but still. -45F and a HIGH in the (-)teens?!
Ours is cancelled tomorrow and Wednesday. They called today as well but it was for snow and not temps.

My ex wife is from northen MN (75 miles NE of Fargo). We were up there new years of 2013/14 and wind chills were -50. You could literally see the air.
 
Jul 7, 2004
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#9
A tour guide in Fairbanks told us that teachers have to send kids outside for recess as long as it is not colder than -30 degrees. Takes them a long time to make sure that they are bundled properly.
 

oks10

Territorial Marshal
Sep 9, 2007
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Yukon, OK
#10
A tour guide in Fairbanks told us that teachers have to send kids outside for recess as long as it is not colder than -30 degrees. Takes them a long time to make sure that they are bundled properly.
Then they'd probably laugh in our faces for not allowing kids to go outside if the wind chill is below freezing... People in Fairbanks probably actually send their kids with the correct clothing for the weather though.
 
Jul 9, 2004
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#11
I think that was recorded in Nowata. Hit -28 or so in Bartlesville that day.
From the Weather Channel:

This next amazing temperature swing from winter 2011 had some residents of Oklahoma changing their wardrobe from thick winter coats to shorts and t-shirts in the span of a week.
A cold air mass, combined with a fresh snowpack and calm winds, allowed the town of Nowata, Oklahoma, to reach a low of minus 31 degrees on Feb. 10, 2011. This was confirmed as the all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma.
Gradual warming accelerated over the course of a week, and temperatures peaked at a record high of 79 degrees on Feb. 17.
According to the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this 110-degree temperature rise is the greatest change within seven days in Oklahoma history.
 

Jonkr06

Territorial Marshal
Aug 18, 2007
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#12
I think that was recorded in Nowata. Hit -28 or so in Bartlesville that day.
From the Weather Channel:

This next amazing temperature swing from winter 2011 had some residents of Oklahoma changing their wardrobe from thick winter coats to shorts and t-shirts in the span of a week.
A cold air mass, combined with a fresh snowpack and calm winds, allowed the town of Nowata, Oklahoma, to reach a low of minus 31 degrees on Feb. 10, 2011. This was confirmed as the all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma.
Gradual warming accelerated over the course of a week, and temperatures peaked at a record high of 79 degrees on Feb. 17.
According to the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this 110-degree temperature rise is the greatest change within seven days in Oklahoma history.
I remember it well. Amazing.