March 3rd-6th - Extreme Cold Outbreak/Near Record Temps Still Expected Across Illinois Sunday Into Next Week
We continue to monitor the growing potential for a several day, significant cold outbreak across the Midwest, including Illinois that could produce near record cold temperatures. This would begin on Sunday as things look now and and continue into next week. Nothing is fore sure set in stone but model guidance continues to show the threat for brutally cold air invading our area during this time-frame. We are now getting into early March when temperatures are supposed to be warming up across the Midwest but some areas will see temperatures 30 degrees or more below what is normal for this time of year. As we have also mentioned, this isn't going to be a quick hitting shot of cold either as we could have a three to four day stretch of very cold temperatures across our area.
I dig into the latest below on this expected cold outbreak...
Numerical model guidance continues to be in fairly decent agreement with continued consistency on very cold air coming down into our area from southern Canada and the northern plains by the latter half of the upcoming weekend. We are once again able to see this fairly easily in the loop below looking at temperatures around 5,000ft off the ground where there is no diurnal effect from the sun. If you look up over western Canada at the beginning of the loop, you can see the gray/white colors, indicative of very cold temperatures and that very cold air then working its way southeast into the northern plains and eventually our area by Sunday and Monday.
The arrival of this cold outbreak will come Sunday morning with the northern half of the state or so seeing the coldest temperatures by this time. The image below shows forecast temperatures at 9am Sunday morning. As you can see, the heart of the really cold air hasn't made its way downstate yet.
By the start of the work week next week, high pressure and the very cold temperatures will have moved in closer to us in Illinois and we can expect much more widespread brutally cold air statewide by Monday morning. Below is forecast temperatures at 6am on Monday morning with some areas potentially getting below zero. This is when some locations will see temperatures 30-35 degrees below normal.
If you're looking for relief and a warm up by Tuesday, you will not get it. This very cold outbreak looks to roll on right into and through the day on Tuesday with temperatures once again getting down into the single digits and even below zero for some on Tuesday morning across the state, shown below.
We won't show you expected temperatures for Wednesday (morning) just yet as some models continue the cold outbreak into the middle of next week while others finally have it subsiding. But either way, the point to get across is that this is going to be a several day event of extremely cold temperatures across the Midwest and Illinois for early March. The Climate Prediction Center continues to outline a very large area, centered on the Midwest, for well below normal temperatures for early next week, shown below.
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