It was the coldest morning in over two years. Milwaukee dropped to -5. Waukesha was -11. It was cold enough to create something that is known as “arctic sea smoke.” A big thank you to Doris of Mequon who added her photo of the sea smoke this morning on ulocal. You can find hundreds of great weather pictures at ulocal on wisn.com.
Arctic sea smoke is another term for steam fog created in the Great Lakes. It occurs when you have very cold air, usually below zero, moving over the open waters of the Great Lakes. The cold air picks up moisture from the lake and the steam fog forms. This continues to flow along the open water gaining more and more moisture. This can be the beginning of lake-effect snow. It is fascinating to watch this because it looks like the fog dances across the water. Try to take a look the next time we have a frigid air mass.
So how cold was it? Here are the lows across SE Wisconsin this morning.
No matter where you were temperatures dropped below zero. The coldest spot in our area was -17 in Reeseville in Dodge County. Around the state the coldest was Minong, west of Hayward. The temperature dropped to -37. The coldest temperature in the United States was in International Falls. The low this morning was -46 degrees. That did not include the wind chill. Our wind chills were between 20 and 30 below. Our temperatures are dropping like a rock this evening thanks to the clear skies and light winds. We will likely go below zero this evening before warming up as the night goes on.
The forecast for the NFC Championship in Chicago is still looking pretty good. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 20s with mostly cloudy skies. Winds still look to be fairly light. East at 5 to 15 miles per hour.
Thanks to “aronasoc” for the Packers snowman to ulocal. Go Pack Go!