10:30 a.m. Update: The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the entire area 9 p.m. tonight to 9 a.m. Monday, with wind chills as low as 5 to 10 degrees below zero able to cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin. Obviously dress extremely warm in many layers if you’ll be out and about for New Year’s Eve activities tonight. Here are the forecast wind chills for midnight tonight. Brutal!…
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
2/10: I enjoy a good cold snap now and then, but this just isn’t fun. Especially with the wind and on New Year’s Eve.
Today: Very cold, blustery. PM flurries possible. Highs: Low-to-mid-20s.
Tonight: Bitter cold. Lows: 8-13.
Tomorrow: Cold and blustery continues. Highs: Low-to-mid-20s.
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FORECAST IN DETAIL
2016 came to a mild close, with temperatures near 50 last New Year’s Eve. History will NOT repeat itself for 2017. Our cold streak is again reinforced as a new batch of arctic air moves in. Add in a blustery breeze, and we’ve got wind chills dipping into dangerous territory as midnight approaches. 2018 starts off just as cold tomorrow, with only a minor warm-up midweek, to around freezing, before colder air makes yet another run at us.
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Today (Sunday): Temperatures start in the teens and are in no hurry to warm up from there. Adding insult is a blustery breeze — gusting 20-30 mph from the northwest — keeping our wind chills in the single digits through much of the day. The record low maximum temperature for today is 12 (in 1917), so we’re not in record territory with highs in the low-to-mid-20s, but it’s surely one of our coldest New Year’s Eves in some time (as Ian mentioned yesterday). Despite some periods of sun, skies are partly to mostly cloudy on the whole, and a quick-moving disturbance may spark a few afternoon flurries. Confidence: High
Tonight (New Year’s Eve): Angela handed out some sage advice on Twitter this week: Find a party with a coat check! While continued winds keep temperatures from diving off a cliff, wind chills drop toward zero as we close in on midnight and could go negative thereafter. So add another layer if you’re going to be waiting at any exposed Metro stops! Overnight lows range from the single digits to the lower teens, with skies trending clearer. Confidence: High
Tomorrow (New Year’s Day): It’s nearly a copy/paste job for New Year’s Day. Nearly. We’ll see a bit more sun, enough to call it partly to mostly sunny, and we’ll lose a bit of the wind. A bit. It’s still blustery enough, with winds gusting near 20 mph from the northwest, to keep wind chills down in the single digits and lower teens. Temperatures stall again in the low-to-mid-20s. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow night: Clear and cold conditions persist overnight. Once again, a steady breeze keeps the atmosphere mixed up enough to prevent temperatures from reaching their minimum potential. Still, it’s plenty cold, with lows in the upper single digits in the suburbs and low-to-mid teens downtown. Confidence: Medium-High
A LOOK AHEAD
The thing about this pattern is that it’s in no hurry to change. At least in the short term. Temperatures on Tuesday may creep slightly higher, but we still can’t fully kick the breeze. Highs only manage the mid-to-upper 20s even with plenty of winter sunshine. Overnight, the song remains the same, with mostly clear skies and lows in the low teens. Confidence: Medium-High
Temperatures continue their slow moderation on Wednesday, when some spots might poke above freezing for a bit, with highs in the low 30s. Mostly sunny skies may see a few high wisps late in the day, as we start to watch a storm system developing off the coast. As of now, that storm looks to stay safely off the coast as it passes by late Wednesday into Thursday, but we’ll keep watching in case it tries to edge closer. Confidence: Low-Medium
SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
3/10 (→): Flurry chance today won’t amount to much. Wednesday/Thursday storm probably stays off the coast but can’t be counted out quite yet.