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02/16/2015

Return of POLAR VORTEX to bring RECORD SMASHING COLD!!!

No rest for the weary.  On the heals of multiple arctic outbreaks this past week and a heavy snowstorm today, we get to look forward to this...

Ecmwf_uvz300_noram_9

Model data is now in good agreement that we will see another FULL DISPLACEMENT of the POLAR VORTEX later this week!

The Euro, shown above, brings the giant, semi-permanent upper low pressure system, all the way down to the Northern Great Lakes on Wednesday.  

So what does this mean?  

The arrival of another PV displacement will bring down another frigid arctic air mass during the middle and second half of this week.  

Only this time, it will arrive with snow on the ground and plenty of it.  Today's storm dropped widespread 6 to 12 inch snowfall amounts over Kentucky and much of Southern Indiana.  

The Cold Snowballs

Snow always makes the cold that much colder.  In the daytime, it prevents the ground from warming as it reflects much of the sun's energy.   At night, it acts as an efficient radiator releasing whatever heat that was left from the day back out into space.  Essentially, the snow helps to snowball the cold into even more cold.  

So how cold are we talking about?

Here's a look at the latest data from the GFS (18z run), showing high temps (in white) only topping out in the teens for most of the area and wind chill readings (in blue) falling below zero during the afternoon on Wednesday.  

At1

From there, temps plummet Wednesday evening into the lower single digits.  A strong north wind will make it even worse with dangerously cold wind chill values diving into the teens below zero

At2

Unfortunately, that won't be the worst of it.   Have a look at these conditions out the door Thursday morning.  The actual air temperature could bottom out near -10° with wind chill readings down to near -25°!!!  

At3

Record Smashing Lows!

The current record low temperature in Louisville for Thursday morning is 0° in Louisville set back in 1936.  It appears we will see this record SMASHED TO BITS with potentially the coldest temperatures we've seen in at least 19 years (we hit -7° in February 4, 1996).

The incredible cold is expected to continue Thursday afternoon despite a good deal of sunshine with brutal highs only projected to reach the single digits.  This too would be RECORD SHATTERING for a cold maximum temp.  (Current record is 18° set also back in 1936)

Advancetrak

From there, if conditions set up right, IT COULD GET WORSE.  In fact, the current run of the GFS is projecting jaw dropping low temperatures in the -10° to -25° range.  This IS NOT a forecasted wind chill, but is the forecasted air temperature by the GFS.  

Advancetrak2

If this were to occur, these would represent historically cold conditions that we haven't seen since January 1994 when the state's all time record low was observed.  (-36° in Shelbyville on January 19, 1994)

For the record, we currently have a low of -8° forecasted for Friday morning.  Still, this would, of course, be another record.  (Current record is 0° set way back in 1885)

For the latest on the dangerous cold that is coming, be sure to join Marc with a complete update tonight on WDRB News at 10.

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Comments

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So do you see a warm up at all in the next 2 weeks or are we going to have an extended winter until late March?
Thanks

That is so cold. I hope schools cancel. That is too cold for children to be going to school. If you can, please note to tell people to check on neighbors- not just elderly people, but anyone who may not have the means to heat their home adequately.

Will you be advising JCPS on this?

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