1:45 PM | Now on to the next storm...weekend coastal threat; an update on the impressive and widespread nationwide cold
Snow is winding down across the I-95 corridor from DC-to-NYC and road conditions should improve quite a bit in time for the late afternoon rush hour. Very cold and dry conditions will prevail from tonight through Friday with low temperatures in the teens in many of the northern and western suburbs of the big cities, and single digits cannot be ruled out for lows later this week in some of these locations. By the weekend, our attention will turn to the next storm and this could be a significant storm with copious amounts of moisture. Low pressure will pull out of the south-central part of the country at the end of the week and will likely consolidate into a strong storm along the Northeast US coast. While very cold weather prevails through Friday, a wintry mix along the I-95 corridor is a possibility. Stay tuned on this as there are still several days to go before the event (Saturday-into-Sunday time frame) and I believe that the forecast models will likely trend colder as the event time nears which would lead to a greater chance for snow.
In terms of how cold and snowy we have been across the nation over the past week or so, here are some interesting stats from many different locations with a focus on the western US:
• Nationwide: The nationwide average temperature of 14.8°F early Saturday morning was the 5th coldest reading since 2000. Preliminary readings suggest that the CONUS average temperature for the last 6 days was 20.8°F which is about 14 degrees below normal and the coldest since 1979 (source Ryan Maue at weatherbell.com)
• Chicago, IL: This morning featured the earliest sub-zero temperature (-6 degrees at O'Hare) in 18 years
• Philly Airport: has now received about as much snow in the past three days as in the last two winters combined
• Great Falls, MT: low temperature of -33°F this weekend was their coldest ever recorded so early in the season
• Medford, OR: record low last week of 14°F was their coldest temperature in 15 years
• Pullman, WA: Sunday morning's low of -11 degrees was the city's sixth consecutive daily record low and the earliest it has been that cold in 74 years of recordkeeping
• Denver, CO: Record low of -13°F on Wednesday smashed the old record of -5 degrees set in 2008. Thursday's low of -15°F tied the daily record and then Denver dropped to -13 degrees on Saturday morning, tying another record low
• Caspar, WY: Record low of -22°F on Wednesday smashed the old record of -11 degrees set in 1972
• Bishop, CA: recorded a record low of 8°F on Sunday morning
• Spokane, WA: the high temperature held in the teens last week for the first time since 2011
• Ely, NV: Record low of -17°F on Wednesday crushed the old record of -5 degrees. Record lows were also set on Thursday (-23°F) and Friday morning (-19°F).
More bitter cold is in store for much of the nation during the next couple of weeks.