Cold weather’s hit early and hard across the Midwest this year. Friday’s 21-degree high was Chicago’s coldest daytime temp since a 20-degree max occurred nearly 10 months ago on Feb. 16. And similarly cold temperatures are predicted Saturday.
Chilly weather of comparable intensity waited another 6 weeks to reach Chicago a year ago, not making its way into the city until a 15-degree high was recorded Jan. 21.
Modest wind speeds—in the range of 4 to 12 mph—will spare area residents a rendezvous with the type of bitterly cold wind chills that have dogged residents of the Plains and northern Rockies in recent days. In those areas, 30 to 40-degree below zero chills have occurred.
Grab the sunglasses; despite the chill, heretofore cloudy December 2013 is to produce the sunniest of its first 7 days
Despite Saturday’s chill, which is to include daytime highs 16-degrees below normal, the day’s generous sunshine may be the feature most noticeable to Chicagoans as the day dawns.
The area’s been on the receiving end of a stubbornly cloudy December to date with just 20% of its possible sun on the books. That’s half the already paltry 41% allocation of sun which is considered “normal” for the month. December is Chicago’s cloudiest month of the year.
Snows top 1 foot in the hardest hit areas of downstate in Illinois and Indiana Friday
Big early season snows—in a number of locations, a foot or more—walloped downstate Illinois and Indiana Friday while ice was the meteorological issue over a corridor of terrain just south of the snow band. The ice produced accidents, downed trees and power lines and forced school and business closings from sections of north Texas and southeast Oklahoma north to the Ohio River. The Dallas/Ft. Worth area was particularly hard hit, as were areas of Arkansas.
A carport collapsed under the weight of the ice in Plano, Texas while hundreds of flights were cancelled at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport Friday. On the roads there, numerous spinouts were reported.
The 14” accumulation tallied at Chester, Illinois topped the list of snowfalls across the region.
Snow situation upside down; southern cities have tallied more seasonal snow than Chicago’s 0.9” to date
In the unusual pattern of snowfall which has emerged this season, snow tallies in typically less-snowy cities to our south exceed the 0.9” of snow on the books at O’Hare.
Among the cities which are surprisingly “snowier” than Chicago to date are Louisville, KY with 2.8”; Indianapolis at 4.6”; Oklahoma City at 1.2”; Dallas, Texas with 2.1”; Little Rock, Arkansas with 1.0” and Paducah, KY where 3.8” has already fallen.
The intense, early-season chill sets records across 11 states Friday
Temp records fell again Friday—this time across 11 states to Chicago’s west.
Among Friday’s record cold readings were: -26 at Great Falls, MT; -26 Valentine, NE; -22 Lake Yellowstone, WY; -22 Ely, Nevada and -19 at Rock Springs, WY. There was even a new record low established at San Francisco where Friday’s minimum dipped to 37-degrees.
While Chicago shivered with Friday’s 21-degree high and many areas of the Plains remained sub-zero, King Salmon, Alaska sets new record high of 53-degrees for Dec. 6
As so often happens, extreme cold in Chicago suggests impressive warmth in Alaska—something which was on display for all to see Friday.
While Chicagoans shivered with a 21-deg high and many areas of the Plains and northern Rockies remained sub-zero; Alaska was recording record-breaking warmth.
King Salmon, in the southwest section of the state, recorded an afternoon high Friday which soared to a record-breaking 53-degrees while Cold Bay, Alaska managed 51-degrees. Anchorage’s 33-degrees and Fairbanks 25-degrees each exceeded Chicago’s 21-degree peak.