Temperatures across the D.C. area have struggled toward 30 today and wind chills have been mostly stuck in the teens. That's pretty cold, but nothing compared to what's coming Thursday night through early Saturday -- the coldest air we've seen in more than a decade.
In a recent forecast discussion, the National Weather Service puts the approaching Arctic air into perspective with some rather chilling comparisons to past cold-air outbreaks. The upcoming cold blast may not be a record-setting one, but it will be bitter and possibly dangerous nonetheless.
Keep reading for the National Weather Service's bone-chilling comparisons...
VERY COLD WEATHER EXPECTED THIS FRIDAY /16 JAN/ INTO SATURDAY MORNING /17 JAN/. HOWEVER...SINCE THIS IS NEAR THE CLIMATOLOGICALLY COLDEST TIME OF YEAR...RECORD LOWS AND/OR RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES APPEAR UNLIKELY IN THE IMMEDIATE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA. STILL...IT DOES LOOK TO BE THE COLDEST AIRMASS FOR THE AREA IN OVER A DECADE. IT WAS NOTABLY COLDER FOR A FEW DAYS IN MID JANUARY 1994 AT BWI/DCA/IAD.
BELOW ARE THE FORECAST MAXIMA FOR FRIDAY AND THE FORECAST MINIMA FOR SATURDAY WITH THE MOST RECENT TIMES TEMPERATURES NEARED THESE LEVELS...AS WELL AS RECORD LOWEST MAX ON 16 JAN AND RECORD LOW ON 17 JAN.
BWI...FRI FCST HIGH: 18 F /HIGHS OF 5-18 F IN MID JAN 1994 AND 19 F ON JAN 10 2004 AND FEB 4 1996...RECORD LOW MAXIMUM OF 14 F IN 1893/
DCA...FRI JAN 16 FCST HIGH: 20 F /HIGH OF 17 F ON FEB 4 1996 AND 20 F ON FEB 3 1996 AND 21 F ON JAN 10 2004...RECORD LOW MAXIMUM OF 15 F IN 1893/
IAD...FRI FCST HIGH: 18 F /HIGH OF 14 F ON FEB 4 1996 AND 19 F ON JAN 17-18 1997 AND 20 ON FEB 5 2007...RECORD LOW MAXIMUM OF 14 IN 1972 AND 1996/