Storm Team 10: Frigid Temperatures for Southern New England

As of Tuesday morning, December has been pretty typical of the first winter month. The frost has come. We've gotten shots of snow here and there. But the temperatures have been sporadic. So far this month, we've seen afternoon highs range from 1-12° above average to 1-11° below average. The cycle has come on a bi- or tri-day basis with 2 or 3 days of unseasonable warmth followed a significant drop. And that trend...its occuring again in a BIG way.

Thursday and Friday will record the coldest temperatures of the season thus far. High pressure will dominate from New England to the Mid-Atlantic, as seen in the first image (represented by the blue 'H'). The counter-clockwise flow around that high pressure will usher in a frigid airmass from the northwest. Another thing to note on the first image is the green lines. Those illustrate a pressure gradient and when they are closer together, that indicates higher wind speeds. Winds will likely be sustained above 15mph with gusts near 25mph.

So...what does all that mean for our temperatures. Take a look a the second image. That is a snapshot of Friday morning's temperatures at 7am according to the Global Forecast System (GFS) model. Southern New England will likely see single digit temps across the board. If that wasn't bad enough, we have to take the wind into account. The third image is a snapshot of wind chill values (WCI) at the same 7am time stamp. That's right...-7°F! And just as a courtesy, I chose to put the GFS rather than the European model as that one forecasts -13° WCI!

Moral of the story, let's make sure we have enough gas in the car and have antifreeze ready.

Meteorologist Zack Green

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