I'm here...and what a pleasure it is to make your acquaintance!
Sincerely, the ice man
Fellow Americans, I've been telling you the deep freeze was coming and here it is. Intensely cold air has dropped temperatures into the rarified range of 20-30 below. Wind chills under 50 below are accompanying the cold and it's downright mean. Welcome to the Arctic "south"!
Below, you can see the frigid air mass diving into the Midwest.
Here's the upper level wind flow which is pushing the storm track all the way to the Gulf.
You can see the snow cover the cold air rides over as it pushes south limiting the moderation of the cold.
You can also see the extent of the bitter air extending from Siberia across the pole and into the Midwest.
The core of the cold will be directly over my area today preventing temperatures from making much of a recovery. The EURO and GFS both have highs around 20 below in Cedar Rapids.
The above readings are 50 degrees below normal. For some perspective, if this were July and highs were 50 degrees above average, we would peak at 135 degrees!
The big question on everyone's mind is when does this break? I'm happy to say the worst is over by mid-day Thursday when the wind chill warnings are set to expire, probably to be replaced by advisories for a time. Highs will still be a bit below zero but on their way to much better levels this weekend.
One final hurdle will be a minor snow system Thursday afternoon. It's essentially a warm air advection event driven by much warmer air returning to the area. Some spots could see 1 to perhaps 2" of accumulation. The 0Z GFS shows this for accumulations.
Well, it's time to leave the station. The current temperature is -19 and the wind chill is -50. Can't wait to see what that feels like. Roll weather...TS