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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 01/14/2009

You Think It's Cold Now? Just Wait.

By Dan Stillman

* CWG's Full Forecast | Inauguration Forecast: Cold in the Cards *

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/

By Dan Stillman  | January 14, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Extreme Cold  
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Next: PM Update: Cold & Getting Colder, Flakes?

Comments

What are the odds of the Chesapeake Bay freezing?

Posted by: misschatter | January 14, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't be surprised if you wake up with a couple of inches of snow on the ground tomorrow morning. When it happens remember who told you so.

Posted by: add1212 | January 14, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

CWG - Okay, I've had it with our paltry snow totals. My daughter is very upset that we haven't had snow. I am willing to pay each of you $50 if you can produce some snow, even a dusting this winter! Please, make it happen...I don't care how.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 14, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

come on . . . let's blast through that 1893 record.

Posted by: ah___ | January 14, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So . . . anyone else notice that it's snowing downtown?? Well, kind of. It's so light, it wouldn't even be worth mentioning any other winter. But look hard, it's there. The local radar shows light returns out through Loudoun, yet no reports of anything on CWG. Am I losing it or has everyone else just given up?

Posted by: ParkerGP | January 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Radar shows snow aloft and sky looks like snow but once again nothing. Constipated skies.

Posted by: DOG352 | January 14, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

There's such a nice mass of snow coming. And yet it's too far north.

I think the snow you are seeing downtown is just some precipation generating from our south but doesn't seem to be part of the larger system. Sadly.

Posted by: kallieh | January 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

hows the models running for sunday im thinking nothing again.

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | January 14, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@redskinsfan01

re: the Sunday snow threat--doesn't look too promising except for snow showers/flurries... coastal development may be too far offshore... but still bears watching...

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 14, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"What are the odds of the Chesapeake Bay freezing?"
nil-

Posted by: drewbird911 | January 14, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Cold, eh? Anyone know where I can get some cheap firewood?

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | January 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Well... I live in Minnesota and currently it's -3 air temp and the wind chill is -22, but believe it or not that's better than it was yesterday... yesterday the high temp was -11 and a -45 wind chill. But it really doesn't matter because after it hits 0 everything lower than that is just cold.

Posted by: oda155 | January 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I recall being in Fairbanks Alaska when the actual (not wind chill) temperature was -41 F. What most shocked me was not the cold but seeing young kids walking to school with no sign that the extreme (to me) cold was anything out of the ordinary (which for them it was not), let alone a problem.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 14, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Author, $50 if it snows this winter? Count me in!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 14, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

forecast high in Fairbanks for Friday: 28. NW DC suburbs: 18. how often does THAT happen in mid-January?

Posted by: macronbase | January 14, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

macronbase

There is a well known negative correlation between temperatures in Alaska and Eastern U.S. - associated with the phase of the PNA.

With a highly positive PNA, as now the case, it's typically warmer than normal (average) in Alaska and colder than normal in the East. The opposite is true, as well. With a strong negative PNA, it's typically cold in Alaska and warm in the east.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 14, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Brian - $50 is a small price to pay to see my child ecstatic over snow!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 14, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Today in Minneapolis the current temp is -19 and the wind chill is -34... but it warms up next week to the low 20's... but you'll be getting all of this nice frosty air pretty soon... enjoy! OH yeah CWG, PLEASE let people know that when the temp is that low coupled with the bumper2bumber traffice back there, BLACK ICE WILL BE FORMING... PLEASE TAKE HEED!

Posted by: oda155 | January 15, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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