Joe’s Weather Blog: How Cold Did It Get?

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Well temperatures this AM bottomed out at -11° at KCI (official for KC). I ended up forecasting -10° overnight so that worked out well. I was actually vacillating between -10 and -12° for a forecast…feel in the middle of my debate.

On the way home I noticed, and I think this was associated with the secondary true surge of arctic air that was moving into the metro, a sudden increase of a very low stratus deck that took the form of light fog and low clouds. When the air is that cold, it’s ability to hold moisture is next to nothing so the low clouds were actually producing a few tiny snowflakes I think. I took a couple of pictures at 95th and 69 highway in JOCO.

2014-01-05 23.24.44

2014-01-05 23.24.53

You can see the clouds in the city lights…ahead of that deck which I don’t think lasted too long was clear skies. There was an uptick in the winds associated with this as it developed. Interesting.

Anyway we are solidly in the arctic airmass this AM and we’re not alone. Record low temperatures have been common across parts of the Midwest and elsewhere.

ScreenHunter_08 Jan. 06 08.17

You can see the “grayish” areas on the map above…that is the 0° line. A lot of states are 0° or below this morning. By the way…when I checked at 7AM this morning, our temperature in KC (-10°) was colder than every reporting station in the great state of Alaska…impressive. I’m sure some of the higher mountain tops were colder than us, but still all the reporting stations were warmer than here in KC. Here are the regional morning lows…Up in Worth County (near Grant City) it dropped to -16° and on the KS side Clinton Lake dropped to -14°

ScreenHunter_09 Jan. 06 10.32

We missed our daily record low this AM by 2°. So the record of -13° set in 1912 will live for another year. It also was colder a couple of years ago in FEB of 2011 when we dropped to -12. As I mentioned last night and previously in the blog…depending on how today plays out it won’t even be in the top 50 for our coldest day ever is you look at the average temperature for the day (high + low then divided by 2).

So assuming high temperatures today are around 5° (give or take), what does that mean for tonight? Well you may not realize it, but at least just above the surface the brutally cold air is actually starting to move away from the area today. Take a look at the temperatures at 5000 feet or so up in the atmosphere. The first image is from 6AM this morning…

nam_z850_uv_t_mw_1

now take a look at the 2nd image…and notice the deeper blues/purples rotating away from the region and the “warmer” colors expanding through the western Plains states.

nam_z850_uv_t_mw_8

Those warmer colors will be aided by downsloping winds off the Rockies out there. Unfortunately while we will see temperatures in the 25-30° range over the next few days…we also have at least 2-5″ of snow on the ground through most of the Plains this states this AM…so the snowcover will help to refrigerate the air closest to the surface for awhile until it melts.

I’ve been busy on twitter (@fox4wx) today with all sorts of things…here you go.

We should really moderate though towards the end of the week and into the weekend, with a chance at a run towards 50° sometime over the weekend.

That’s it for today…stay warm.

Joe

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