A happy #NationalPlanAVactionDay everyone. Many of us are probably thinking of a warm getaway with one of those little umbrella drinks in our hand after today's snow and the brutal cold to come.
Those living in parts of the upper Midwest and northern Plains though are just trying to find any means to stay away from the great outdoors as the "Arctic Anchor" drops overhead. It's so cold in some neighborhoods such as Grand Forks, North Dakota that the deicing fluid used on aircraft is even freezing up due to air temperature 30 degrees + below zero.
Many of these locations in the great north are experiencing temperatures that have not been seen at this magnitude for more than 20 years. Air temperatures 30-50 degrees below zero and wind chill factors of 50-80 degrees below zero are anomalies you would see toward the North Pole or even Mars.
Hard to fathom right? It's not fake news by any means. There are places in the Lower 48 that are actually colder than Mars and the Arctic this week. Currently the "Red Planet" is reporting temperatures around 19 degrees with a low close to 100 degrees below. Now we won't get that cold but it's hard to believe those daytime highs in the low 20s from January 29th, recorded by the Mars Curiosity Rover are warmer than what the Midwest is seeing now.
Closer to home in our northernmost United States city Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska temperatures are between 0 and 5 degrees below zero. It's colder in Minneapolis, MN tonight then Alaska.
Could you imagine living in this frozen world? The lowest temperature ever recorded in Maryland was 40 degrees below zero in Oakland, Maryland (January 13, 1912). Baltimore's coldest temperature ever recorded on record is 7 degrees below zero.
Now we won't get that cold this go around, but for many wind chill factors will dip below zero and air temperatures look to approach record limits early Thursday morning.
Thursday morning's record low in Baltimore is 4 degrees from 1966. We look to get close with a forecast of 5 degrees due to the fact that winds will remain out of the northwest at 10-20 mph per hour preventing us from going below that mark. The record low high temperature is 22 degrees which looks to be in reach with a forecast high of 21 expected this Thursday.
The cold retreats slowly but surely Friday as highs climb back toward 30 degrees. By the weekend we are back over freezing with highs Super Bowl Sunday near 50.
On top of all that Monday and Tuesday temperatures could be near 60 with rain not snow. What a complete 180 in the forecast but true testament to Winter in the "Old Line State."