Several cold waves across the eastern United States have plunged the region into a deep cold plunge, and the trend looks to continue heading into the new year.  And the countdown might not be the only thing approaching zero on New Years Eve.

Over the past week, warm air from the west coast has been pushed northwards into western Canada.  This has allowed the cold arctic air to flood southward into the United States.  Patterns of this magnitude tend to stay in place for a week or more, and this system going to last into early next week.  Wind chill advisories and warnings have been posted across all of the Northern Plains, Central Plains, and Midwest. Temperatures close to or below zero along with gusty winds will create dangerously cold conditions Saturday night through Monday.

A wind chill chart developed by the National Weather Service, which shows how temperature and wind speeds impact how cold the air can feel.

Temperatures Sunday will struggle into the mid teens, with generally light winds out of the west.  High pressure will keep skies mostly clear, helping to bump up daytime highs slightly.  The real impact of mostly clear skies will happen with overnight with lows quickly falling.  By 8pm, temperatures will be dipping into the single digits near 5 degrees, steadily dropping close to zero approaching midnight (ironic right?).

For those out celebrating the new year across the midwest, make sure to bundle up and stay warm.  Dressing in layers and limiting time outside is definitely advised.  Extended periods of time outside without proper attire can lead to hypothermia, and in severe cases frostbite.  Overnight wind chills will reach close to ten degrees below zero.  With the extremely cold weather, that gives just one more reason to celebrate the new year inside with friends and family!


About Kevin Thiel

Kevin is a Meteorology Major and Mathematics Minor at Ohio University, with an interest for thunderstorm electrification and research. On campus, he serves as President of the AMS Student Chapter, along with Webmaster and Forecaster for the campus atmospheric lab. This past summer, Kevin interned at the National Weather Service office in Miami, Florida, using lightning and radar data to study severe thunderstorm potential. One day, Kevin hopes to enter into field of academia and research, or become a forecaster with the Storm Prediction Center.