Taste of Arctic & NFC Championship Forecast

Brrr!!! The coldest air in over two years. We’ll drop below zero for the first time since January 17, 2009. That is a record 732 days above zero. On top of the cold, the wind will be blustery out of the northwest at 15-25 miles per hour. That will bring wind chills to -30 at times. Here are the expected lows:

Because of the cold temperatures and strong winds, a wind chill advisory is in effect.

When does the cold become dangerous? That is a very subjective question. You should not be outside for more than five minutes unless you have numerous layers of clothing on and are covering all your extremities. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they do not stay outside for long in this weather.

So you think it is cold here, get a look at the lows from the RPM model for Friday morning.

Click on the above image to enlarge. The lows in northern Wisconsin may drop to 30 below in a few spots. Northeastern Minnesota will see some lows to -40. That is the actual temperature, not the wind chill. Yikes.

Thankfully, this arctic air does not last too long. By Sunday, temperatures will be back into the low 20s. The Soldier Field forecast is looking pretty good right now. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 20s with easterly winds at 5 to 15 miles per hour. The only fly in the ointment is the wind direction. A lake-effect snow band will likely develop on Saturday night and may impact the game , but it is too early to tell where this band will end up. The RPM model has the band north into Wisconsin on Sunday at noon.


The GFS model keeps the lake-effect around Green Bay.

The NAM model is the outlier, it brings the warmer air back earlier which would allow a low pressure center to bring snow to Chicago and Milwaukee on Sunday. At this point, I don’t believe this solution. When you get arctic air like we are right now, it is hard to move that out. The cold air should actually work to steer the low pressure to our south. Nonetheless, here is the NAM.

We will wait and see, but at this point I am more confident in a more southerly solution for the snow on Sunday. Go Pack Go!



14 Responses

  1. Mark,

    I’m interested to see the long range that you guys are working on. I’ve read from the national weather sites that they see there is no sign of this cold and snowy pattern breaking down for the eastern half of the country, including the Midwest. Blame it on the NAO, La Nina, Greenland Block…

    I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that we came off of such a warm year with an early Spring and late Fall, to be plunged into such a prolonged period of cold, and now snow, without much of a thaw. I’m not really counting New Year’s Eve, that seemed like a one day fluke.

    Any thoughts as to the flip flop? What are you seeing for the rest of the Winter here?

    • Dave, I’m not sure if you have seen the earlier blogs about Arctic Oscillation. This seems to be the main player from last winter and this winter. Don’t put all your eggs in the La Nina basket. The anomalously negative AO has brought the eastern US a cold winter. Surprisingly for us, we are actually above average for January temps and even with our bitter cold night, we should warm above average again next week.
      I’m not going to get too in-depth on the rest of winter because Jeremy is working on a more extensive blog post this weekend about the LRC and the February forecast.
      Stay tuned. Thanks.

    • It is weird how one cycle of the LRC can bring us mainly above average temps and then the next cycle or two can be mainly below. I’m guessing once we get into spring and the jet stream is back up where it is during fall, we will be mainly above average again. Don’t quote me on that though.

      Until then, hang in there until shortly after Valentines Day when the New Year’s part of the cycle returns and we should easily be in the 40s again.

      • Daniel,

        The LRC is just a cycle. It really does not bring the warm or cold, but like a computer model can indicate when to expect ridges, troughs, shortwaves, etc. The cool thing about the LRC is that it does this WAY in advance.
        As for the second part of your comment, Jeremy was just chatting about the return of the New Year’s warmth yesterday. He will be blogging about this shortly.

  2. Speaking of warmth or lack there of -43 this morning in International Falls the nation’s ice box.

    • Thanks, Bryan.

  3. Hi, WW 12 Team!

    At 7:15 a.m. here in Reeseville – Dodge County — the thermometer was showing 17 below zero. Winds appeared to be calm and sky was clear.

    After this brief cold snap, does our attention turn to trying to figure out the details of the “signature storm,” or is there something else on the weather horizon for us to be concerned about before then?

    Everybody stay safe and warm!


    • Thanks, Don,

      I am watching for the return of the signature storm as well. GFS not showing much at this point. Give it a little more time.


  4. Friday, January 21, 2011 4:12 pm

    Hi Mark!

    Just got back from a trip out to the mailbox. Don’t have an ‘official’ temperature to report, but it really didn’t feel too awful bad out there.
    Hope it doesn’t seem inappropriate to post, but if possible, I’d consider it a real favor if you would pass on to Sally that Tony from Pleasant Prairie says Hi! Over the years I’ve watched many of her weather presentations. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her personally and I’m not a ‘fan letter’ writing type of guy; but since this ‘new technology’ of ‘blogs’ makes it so easy to do so, I feel I would be remiss in not taking advantage of it to compliment her on her fine work.


    • Thanks for the nice note, Tony.
      Sally is the nicest person I have ever worked with. I will pass your note along.


      • Thanks Mark

  5. Hi again WW 12 Team!

    Just me again. Hope you don’t think me a pest, but I wanted to pass along that our “high” for today was -8 below zero. Skies were clear all day, and the sunshine coming through the windows felt great! Winds appeared calm all day too.

    Did the winds not materialize to the speeds anticipated? It seems that here in my area, it never got very windy.

    Have a good weekend!

    Don in Reeseville

    • Don,

      Not a pest at all. We love the posts. High of -8. Yikes. Thankfully, the wind was not too bad. The strongest winds were between 9pm and 3am last night.

  6. The “flurries” from overnight Friday/Saturday accumulated to 1″ in Reeseville. We have received around 34″ for the season so far.

    Don in Reeseville

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