Details on the Cold Blast for This Week

Expect the coldest temperatures of this winter this week.

We are nearly halfway through winter, and the frigid cold is arriving.

A dry cold front moved through Sunday evening, re-enforcing some cooler temperatures for Monday, but the real cold will settle in on Monday night into Tuesday with a second Arctic Front.

It was just a few weeks ago we were talking about the January Warm up, with temperatures at 70! 

Those days are gone.

Take a look, our average high this time of year is right at 40 degrees, with an average low of 20.

Tuesday and Wednesday we are expecting highs in the low to mid 20s! 

That's around 15 degrees below average!

Don't let the end of the week deceive you, although we might be "warming" into the 30s, the cold does stick around.

It's not untypical to see highs in the 20s for our area though, especially in January and February. However we haven't seen highs this cold in some time.

This is a graph of the last three winters showing the number of days with high temperatures in the 20s.

Last year, of course, knows as the winter that never was, and we did have one day with a high in the 20s.

The year before was cold, but did not produce much snowfall.

Who can forget the year of Snowmageddon, that winter we saw 9 days with highs in the 20s.

What's happening for this week, as I mentioned above is an Arctic cold front is swinging down and that's sending this cold Arctic air into much of the east coast. As the front moves in, it's bringing a bit of moisture off the Great Lakes so there is a chance for a few snow showers for the Western Highlands, northern Valley, and towards DC. For the Valley it is possible for us to see some flurries or a rogue snow band or two. So not everyone will see this, but it's possible (especially with the strong winds) and where we do see snow, the icy dry snow could create some slick spots.

This is what we call an Arctic Air Mass, and that cold Arctic air is going to be an influence for a while.

I haven't seen cold like this in a long time.

This is a map of 850mb temperatures, so that's temperatures about 5,000 feet up.

We use this as a guide with troughs and ridges, or cold and warm trends.

I circled the trough of cold air, and the arrow is pointing to Virginia, I know hard to see on this map.

That temperature line is indicating it will be -20 degrees Celsius, at 5,000 feet up (-4F) on Tuesday morning. Remember our highest mountains in this area are around 4,000 feet.

What we will see Tuesday is the NEGATIVE 20 degree Celsius line at 5,000 feet, that means at the ground level, we will see highs around 20 degrees. Now that is cold.

Interesting fact: For our area, the positive 20 degrees Celsius line, usually correlates with a high temperature around 90 degrees, here at the surface.

Get ready to bundle up, and stay warm!

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.

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