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How Cold Will It Get Next Week???

The data is becoming more and more consistent for next week. It is certain that an arctic front will arrive Sunday and bring very cold conditions through early Wednesday. In this blog, I want to look a little closer at how cold it could get on the coldest night.


Anatomy Of A Cold Night


To fully realize the cold potential of each night you need a few things. Beyond the obvious need for cold air, we like to see clear skies and very light winds. To allow the conditions, we normally need very low dewpoints and a high pressure anchored in the area. The first thing we notice is the coldest of the air filters into our area on Monday. Since the EURO seems to be having problems with this system, I will focus on the GFS.


GFS Temperatures 1 Mile Above The Ground Monday Night

Notice the temperatures at this height bottom near -17C which is very, very cold for our area.



By Tuesday morning, notice the GFS is showing the high pressure sitting right on top of our area. That ensures clear skies and very light winds.


GFS Surface Surface Features Monday night

This allows the light winds and clear skies "part of the equation" to be realized.




Now let's look at how low the dewpoints go on Monday night. The lower the dewpoint, the colder it can get.


GFS Dewpoints Monday Night

Notice the dewpoints are extremely low by Monday night / Tuesday morning! The GFS shows a dewpoint near -5F!

GFS Dewpoint 1

With a high pressure sitting over head, we have a perfect setup with clear skies / light winds. It is key to be cloud-free because clouds actually will absorb the heat as it tries to escape the to space at night. As those clouds absorb the heat, some of the heat is re-radiated back to earth keeping the night relatively warmer. Without clouds,  the heat will be radiated out to space in a process called radiational cooling and it will be in full force Monday night.


Storyline Radiational Cooling



How Cold Will It Go?


Monday night stands out as an easy candidate to see the coldest temperature in a couple of years. Here is a list of the coldest temperatures over the last two winters.


Bullitt Graphic


With clear skies, light winds, and low dewpoints I do think we will go into the lower teens. The key will be light winds for most of Monday night and Tuesday morning. The lastest data from the GFS and EURO show some really cold stuff of Tuesday morning. Take a look and note the banner indicates which model you are looking at.






In my opinion, I think the atmosphere will support around support lower teens Tuesday morning and it looks like the coldest temperatuere of this arctic surge. We haven't seen temperatures this cold in a while, so remember to dress the kids in layers for school on Tuesday! I will continue to dial things in and have an update on WDRB News at 10!





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