Right here is the time when the south lastly thaws after record-breaking chilly, snow and ice. The climate channel – Article from the climate channel
- Record-breaking cold has contributed to millions without electricity in Texas and elsewhere in the south.
- Cold air can linger in much of the region for the rest of this week.
- A warm-up will finally arrive this weekend.
A prolonged, historical outbreak of the Arctic cold will persist in parts of the south for the next few days before a stronger warm-up brings relief to the shivering and dead people of Texas, Oklahoma, and other parts of the plains.
The double blow of record cold and one of the worst snowstorms in the south for decades has taken its toll. Power outages left millions of households and businesses without electricity, some even without running water.
And now another winter storm called Viola from The Weather Channel is moving in with more snow and ice.
Yes, it’s a warm-up for the trembling south on the horizon, but it will take time.
More record cold ahead
We have a full rundown of all of the notable cold records destroyed in that historic outbreak in retrospect at the end of this article, including a record low of minus 30 degrees on Tuesday morning in Hastings, Nebraska; Subzero Cold in Texas; and the coldest morning in Oklahoma City since 1899.
And bitter cold is ahead in the next few days.
One reason is the most widespread snowpack in the lower 48 states since at least 2003, which helps cool the air.
Additional winter rainfall, expected by Winter Storm Viola through Thursday, adds to this snow and ice cover.
While the forecast lows for the next few days may not be quite as far off the charts as we’ve seen, they could nonetheless set records from parts of Texas to Mississippi for the calendar day through Saturday morning.
Let’s now look at the daily highs for the next few days to see if at least something can be melted in the afternoon.
For the remainder of the working week, we can break this down by region in the hardest hit areas:
-Interstate 10 Corridor (San Antonio, Houston, Lake Charles): Will be above freezing in the afternoon through Friday, with a warmup this weekend.
-Corridor 20 (Abilene, Dallas, Shreveport): May be slightly above freezing for a time on Thursday and / or Friday afternoons. Warmer this weekend, especially on Sunday.
-North of I-20 (Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas): May not be much above freezing until weekend.
While those high temperatures melt somewhat during the day, these high temperatures stay colder than average through Sunday and certainly cool enough to require at least some electricity to heat your home, condo, or apartment.
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The cold is finally subsiding this weekend and beyond
The latest medium-term outlook is for temperatures to be much closer to average in the plains in late February next week. Parts of the recently cold northern plains may be warmer than average.
Even if some parts of the plain are still a bit persistently cool, it won’t come close to this week’s record-breaking chill.
Review of the historic cold outbreak
Tuesday February 16
-Dallas-Fort Worth fell to minus 2 degrees. This is the coldest temperature since minus 2 in 1949. It is only 6 degrees below the record low of minus 8 in 1899.
-Oklahoma City recorded the second coldest recorded temperature with a low of minus 14. Only a minus of 17 degrees in 1899 is colder on the city’s weather records.
-Lawton, Oklahoma, hit a new record low of minus 12. The city’s records go back to 1912.
-Fayetteville, Arkansas, hit a new record low of minus 20. The records there date back to 1905.
-Tyler, Texas hit a record low of minus three in 1930.
-Tulsa, Oklahoma, dropped to minus 13. This is the coldest reading since it hit that mark in 1918.
-Shreveport, Louisiana had its coldest morning since 1930, with a low of 1
-Hastings, Nebraska, hit a record low of minus 30. Three other reporting stations in Nebraska have also hit new record lows.
Monday February 15th
-San Angelo, Texas hit its second-coldest record low on Monday morning after falling to minus 1.
-Houston fell to 16, the coldest temperature since December 1989. Tuesday morning was 13 degrees colder.
Kansas City International Airport reported a wind chill of minus 32 on Monday morning.This is the lowest wind chill since December 23, 1989, according to the National Weather Service.
The longevity of this cold push button was also impressive.
Billings, Montana, went above zero for the first time in a week on Monday morning, the longest uninterrupted streak below zero since 1983.
Monday was the 10th day in a row. Fargo, North Dakota, did not go above zero, the longest such streak since 1996.
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