What a dramatic shift! The first 24 days of December were any winter haters dream come true; mild, with temperatures running 6 degrees above average, and dry with the metro receiving about half the snow we typically get in that time frame, just 4 inches. But boy did things turn. The pattern shifted and opened the door to extremely cold air from the Arctic like Santa brought it with him on his excursion around the world. Since Christmas Day, temperatures have been running 15 to 20 degrees below average with almost no end in sight.
Our arctic blast may turn our once enormously above average month, into a sub average one. While no daily records have been set in the metro, and likely won’t be, the last week of December has been unusually cold in its shear length. While daily records typically run at -25° or colder this time of year, it’s far more rare for the bitter cold to hang around this long. In fact, combining the last 7 days of this December, we’re looking at one of the coldest ends to a year on record and likely the coldest since 1886.
As of this post, we sit in 5th place all time (records date back to 1872) with an average temperature just shy of zero. But with our 2 coldest days of the week not factored in yet, both of which likely to see the average temperature near -10, then a first or second place finish looks like a near certainty. So while the extent of our cold is not particularly unusual, the timing of the cold might be.