While the snow will certainly pose an inconvenience and could make for poor driving conditions Thursday (by the way, I'm still expecting 1-2" for most of the metro area centered on the early half of the day), the bitter cold is the "big story" as far as I am concerned. While we have had our share of cold weather the past few days (3 area deaths have already been attributed to the cold), and with all due respect to Randy Bachman, "You ain't seen nothing yet."
The official highs/lows so far for January are:
1st - 41/28
2nd - 31/22
3rd - 34/24
4th - 26/20
5th - 29/13
6th - 37 (forecast)/15
The forecasted highs and lows for the next several days look something like this:
7th - 29/18
8th - 18/13
9th - 19/7
10th - 31/7
11th - 41/20
This streak of cold weather would eclipse the very cold weather that encompassed the region in Dec. 2000-Jan. 2001 when highs dropped into the 20s for several days (interspersed with highs in the mid 30s) and lows got as low as 11-12 on 3 days. The coldest days this weekend will be perhaps more similar to a spell in Jan. 1997, the last time Memphis had a single digit low temperature. From January 10-14 of that year, the highs were 36, 20, 24, 25, and 31 and the lows 10, 8, 13, 14, and 13.
Mid-Southerners are urged to take all necessary precautions against the very cold Arctic air that has settled over the region and will be reinforced by tomorrow's cold front. Wind chill readings, thanks to a steady north wind ushering in the Arctic air, will fall below zero Friday morning and could drop as low as -10 or lower on Saturday morning, barely rebounding above freezing on Friday and Saturday as highs top out in the teens. A list of winter weather tips from MemphisWeather.net can be found here and are also linked from the front page of MWN.
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