The coldest air mass of the season so far is on the way to ring in 2018 with lows in the single digits and highs in the teens and 20s. The above image is a model depiction of temperatures this Monday morning across the country. But how does this cold spell stack up to past Winter cold snaps?
First off, air temperatures are not expected to be above freezing for at least 6 days. That's from Saturday, December 30th - Thursday, January 4th.
Second, with a north wind of 10-15 mph (on the coldest morning on Monday), wind chills will be 10° to 15° below zero.
Now this time last year, we were hit with a cold spell in mid December 2016 and then again a week into 2017 with similar lows...in the single digits. However, both cold outbreaks didn't last as long as the one we are about to go through. On NYE 2016 and New Year's Day 2017 we had highs between 50° and 60°. What a difference this go around.
The last time we went through an arctic outbreak of this magnitude was back on February 1st-7th, 2011. The longest stretch of temperatures at 32° or below was for 13 straight days back in December 1983.