Relatively mild into the weekend, then the bottom drops out


Despite a brief incursion of colder air about mid-week, Chicago’s daytime temperatures will average a few degrees above normal through Saturday. The city’s normal daily high temperature is 31 degrees at this time of the year, but the average of expected daily highs through Saturday is 35 degrees.


But don’t get accustomed to those relatively mild readings (by the standards of mid January) because intensely cold Arctic air arrives late Saturday and temperatures plunge, probably to their lowest levels yet this winter season. Once entrenched here, Arctic chill is likely to persist at least a few days.


Where’s the Snow? Not Here!

Chicago’s total seasonal snowfall now stands at 1.3 inches, the least amount ever (through Jan. 15) in 129 years of Chicago snowfall history. Periods of light snow or snow flurries may accompany the passage of a weak disturbance on Wednesday and again with the arrival of Arctic air late Saturday, but no snow of consequence is anticipated through the seven-day forecast cycle because very dry air continues to dominate the region.


Record-setting chill grips the Southwest

At Los Angeles, the temperature on Monday morning dropped to 34 degrees at the downtown sensor located at the USC campus. This reading broke the previous daily record of 36 degrees (2007), and it was the lowest temperature in downtown Los Angeles since Dec. 23, 1990, when the low dropped to 34 degrees. The all-time low temperature record for downtown Los Angeles is 28 degrees recorded on three occasions: (Feb. 6, 1883; Jan. 7, 1913, Jan. 4, 1949).


Santa Barbara, Calif., dropped to 27 degrees, breaking the old daily record of 30 degrees (1989).


The Phoenix low temperature on Tuesday morning is forecast to drop below freezing for the 4th consecutive day. The high there on Monday was 45 degrees, a record low maximum temperature for the date. At usually warm Tucson, the Monday morning low was 21 (a new record low for the date)


At Las Vegas, the high on Monday was 38 degrees, also a record low maximum temperature for the date at that desert city. The old record was 39 (2007).


Other record temperatures:

Flagstaff AZ  high of 16   old record 23 (2007)

Prescott  AZ  high of 29   old record 32 (1930)

Kingman AZ  high of 32   old record 34 (2007)

Needles   CA high of 44    old record 46 (2007)