7:00 AM | **One of the coldest days in years with brutal cold and painful wind chills despite sunshine**
One of the coldest days in years…painful cold with ineffective sunshine and strong winds gusting up to 40 mph, temperatures struggle to escape the single digits with wind chills as low as twenty below
Extreme cold with mostly clear skies and breezy conditions, lows in the low single digits
Mostly sunny, still very cold, but not quite as harsh, low 20’s
Mostly cloudy, cold, upper teens
Mostly cloudy, cold, mid 30’s
Mostly cloudy with a chance for some rain, ice or snow late at night, near 40
Mostly cloudy, milder, showers likely, near 50
Partly sunny, mild, more rain possible at night, near 50
One of the coldest air masses in years is now firmly entrenched in the Mid-Atlantic region and temperatures today will struggle to reach double-digits despite plenty of sunshine. Winds will continue to be on the strong side gusting up to 40 mph and wind chill values will drop to near twenty below at times throughout the day. More extreme cold from tonight into early Wednesday, but then there will be some modification by tomorrow afternoon as highs reach the low 20’s. Much milder conditions are coming for the weekend and there could actually be a stretch of three straight days with temepratures reaching the 50's (Saturday, Sunday and Monday).
Preliminary numbers from the extreme cold are now pouring in for the Mid-Atlantic region and they are quite impressive. Central Park, New York dropped to 5 degrees this morning breaking the very long-standing record held there since 1896. LaGuardia Airport in the NYC metro region broke a record held since 1968 by dropping to 5 degrees. Philly Intl Airport broke the record held since 1988 by dropping to 4 degrees which made for a 56 degree plunge in temperatures since yesterday morning when a spike just ahead of the Arctic frontal system reached 59 degrees. In fact, this was the second steepest drop in temperatures in a 24-hour period ever recorded at PHL from the high of 59 degrees to a pre-midnight low of 13 degrees. The DC metro region had temperatures as low as two degrees below zero this morning in some of the suburban locations. Officially, Reagan National Airport (DCA) dropped to 7 degrees which was the coldest reading there since 1996 and BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland broke a record held there since 1988 by dropping to 3 degrees. Elsewhere, some impressive numbers include a record low of -9 degrees at State College, Pennsylvania, record low of 6 degrees in Atlanta, Georgia and coldest there since 1996, and 9 degrees in Little Rock, Arkansas.
[amazing widespread area of record or near record lows this morning ("blue circles"); courtesy of coolwx.com]