A brief Arctic chill is on the way

Amazing as it may sound, it’s been a pretty mild winter so far. The months of December, January and February have ranged roughly 5 degrees above average as a whole which puts us in 21st place for warmest winter. Not exactly groundbreaking, but it does show that temps have generally been around or above average. Sure, we’ve seen a couple of cold snaps including a brief one a few days ago, but what winter doesn’t have ANY cold snaps? I can answer that for you… none! So our next one is on the way, but this one may challenge some of the coldest wind chills of the season so far.

Naturally, the actual air temperature doesn’t tell the whole story when looking at how cold of a winter we have seen. I think many would agree that they would rather experience a -5 with no wind, versus 15 above with gusty conditions. Officially speaking, they may feel about the same, but I think most agree that that 15 degrees would be far more miserable.  Well our upcoming cold will of course show up with a whole lot of wind.

First though, our air is originating in northern Canada where temperatures as of Tuesday morning were -20 to -40…

This shows us just how cold that southward moving air really is. Then watch as it pushes southward over the next couple of days.

A reminder that the above animation refers to actual air temperatures and NOT the feels like. Want the brutal truth? Well, here’s what it will likely feel like as you head outside late Wednesday and into early Thursday.

Wind chills could be anywhere from -25 to -50 which means frostbite times will be less than 10 minutes in some cases. Now winds will relax through Thursday afternoon with a cold but tranquil morning expected Friday. But here’s the good news; we step into the deep freeze only for roughly 48 hours. By Saturday afternoon, temperatures are already back near the freeze mark for much of the state.