Freezin’ for a reason: Blast of arctic air hangs toughMonday and today will likely have the coldest temperatures this week. Temperatures aren’t expected return to the 20s until Sunday or the following Monday, according to meteorologists.
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Monday and today will likely have the coldest temperatures this week. Temperatures aren’t expected return to the 20s until Sunday or the following Monday, according to meteorologists.
Daryl Ritchison, meteorologist at WDAY, said the cold air mass over North Dakota throughout the week is truly arctic air, originating in Siberia.
“It’ll be pretty cold through the rest of the week,” Ritchison said.
At 4 a.m. Monday the temperature at Jamestown Regional Airport was at minus 41, factoring in the wind chill. Temperatures throughout Monday felt closer to minus 25 with the wind chill index, with a high temperature around zero.
Throughout the day Monday winds blew around 20 mph.
While that wind makes it feel colder, it also helps prevent the very cold air from lingering, Ritchison said.
“The wind keeps the air mixed up so the densest, coldest air isn’t allowed to settle in place,” he said. “Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning the wind will be lighter, so there’s a little potential it could get colder.”
While it’s hard to fathom, approximately six months ago temperatures in Jamestown were close to breaking 100 degrees, Ritchison said. The other side of that extreme weather is the cold Jamestown is experiencing now.
Wednesday and Thursday have the potential to climb above zero, but not by much.
Snow is anticipated on Thursday. After that temperatures will again dip on Friday and Saturday before rising again Sunday into Monday.
“For the balance of the week it’s going to stay cold,” said Ken Simosko, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. “There’s some improvement into the single digits and above zero for highs.”
Simosko said today could bring some light flurries, most likely a dusting in comparison to Thursday, which could see 1 to 2 inches of snow.
“There’s really nothing in the cards until Thursday afternoon, Thursday night,” he said. “That’s going to be the bigger of the two systems by far.”
Temperatures usually climb before a snowstorm and drop afterward during this time of the year.
“Statistically, this time of the year we’re generally the coldest,” Simosko said, “towards the middle and end part of January. So this is typical.”
This pattern of a cold air mass followed by a few days of temperatures in the 20s could cycle again and again into and throughout February, he said.
“We may actually stay in this pattern through February with some warm up along the way, but with a few bumps in the road,” Simosko said. “So don’t be surprised if we continue with some wind chill varieties throughout the weeks, off and on.”
Ways to beat the cold include wearing layers of clothing and a hat to cover the ears, Ritchison said.
“It’s not because of heat loss through your head; it’s to cover your ears. It’s the best reason to wear a hat,” he said.
Also, those traveling should keep a blanket in the vehicle along with a winter survival kit in case the vehicle gets stranded.
“It’s advice that I don’t think ever can be said too many times: don’t leave your car, that’s your shelter,” he said. “Through history most people that have died have left their car.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org