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88 BELOW, JUST ANOTHER DAY IN SIBERIA...

W'eve had some cold to complain about this year but it pales in comparison to what's been going on in Siberia. Oymyakon, Russia — already acknowledged as the world's coldest permanently inhabited town, plunged to a mind-numbing 88 degrees below zero on Tuesday. That's even colder than the average temperature on Mars, which is 80 below zero. Amazingly, 88 below isn't even the record low temperature in this remote, diamond-rich Russian region of Yakutia, a part of Siberia.

Here's an excerpt from an article in USA today. Residents in the region took the cold in stride as evidenced by social media images of cold-weather selfies and stories about stunts in the extreme temperatures, the Associated Press said. Women posted pictures of frozen eyelashes, while Yakutia Media published a photo of Chinese students who got undressed to take a plunge in a thermal spring.

The cold did have serious repercussions. Over the weekend, two men froze to death when they tried to walk to a nearby farm after their car broke down. And although students routinely go to school when it's 40 below, school was canceled throughout the region this week.

However, overall, the bitter temperatures didn't faze the hardy residents of Oymyakon (population 500), which is about 3,300 miles east of Moscow. Local officials said Tuesday that all households and businesses in the region have working central heating and access to backup power generators.

Though the official temperature was "only" 74 below on Tuesday, some residents recorded temperatures as low as 88 below at their homes, the Siberian Times reported. This isn't far from 89.9 degrees below, the coldest-ever officially recorded for a permanently inhabited settlement anywhere in the world and the frostiest in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to the Weather Underground's Christopher Burt, unofficial temperatures as cold as minus 108 degrees have been measured in Oymyakon.

And winter is long and brutal there, he said: There is no record of temperatures rising above zero degrees Fahrenheit there from Dec. 1 and March 1.

As for the all-time world record cold temperature, that will almost certainly stay in Antarctica, where a reading of 128.6 below zero was recorded in 1983 at the Vostok research station.

It's interesting to note that back on January 1st the coldest air in North America was centered right here in the Midwest.

The past week the cold has reconfigured and relocated and now look where the coldest air is projected to be in the period Jan 18-23rd. Essentially its been flushed from the United States, at least for the next 2-3 weeks. The serious cold has crossed the pole and as we showed you earlier will continue to grip Siberia and Manchuria.

What it all means for my area is a nice start to the weekend as our next thaw continues to build. Under clear to partly cloudy skies Friday expect a fine January day with highs in much of my area cracking 40 degrees. The latest he-res hrrr suggests this for highs Friday afternoon.

As for the big storm Sunday nothing has really changed a great deal. Showers and even a few thunderstorms look likely as the warm sector advances across my area. Sunday night or very early Monday my southeastern counties may even see a 50, at least for a short period of time.

The 0z GFS has this for total precipitation.

Here's a larger perspective.

The significant snows will stay to the northwest of my region but there will be some nice amounts up that way. The 0z GFS showed this for accumulations.

That's all for now. Have a sensational Friday and as always, roll weather...TS

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© 2020 Terry Swails