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January 4, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Cold, Colder, Coldest

Though about 2/3s of the country is currently experiencing temperatures well below normal, it’s about to get colder. And so on the heels of the weekend New England blizzard that dumped record-breaking snows in many areas, the nation begins to prepare for even more cold – and more cold. Cold like we haven’t seen in years or, in some places decades. Our graphic below comes from our StormWatch 5-day forecast maps and that blue "H" over South Dakota is a strong Arctic high pressure. Its clockwise flow will drive the cold air south – from above the Arctic Circle to well into Mexico and even Central America. And notice, too, the tightly-spaced yellow lines, aka isobars or lines of equal pressure. When those lines become so tightly packed, surface winds can’t help but to blow hard. From the Plains to New England and to the South, sustained winds of 30-35mph will be the norm. And let’s not forget the wind chill – wind chill temperatures for the later half of the week will range from well below zero for many northern areas to single digits for many southern locations. Lastly, the snow. With powerful north winds across the Great Lakes, we expect heavy snow accumulations for the southern shores of the lakes, as well as the Midwest and New England. In addition, moisture spreading into Texas will fall into the cold air and form snow perhaps as far south as San Antonio, while heavier accumulations are expected in Lubbock and New Mexico.

Image: ImpactWeather’s StormWatch service.

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