March 3rd-7th - March Comes In Like A Lion With Extremely Cold/Possibly Record Breaking Temperatures Across Illinois
Unfortunately, this article isn't going to come as good news to a lot of folks and only the cold winter lovers will like this but we are looking at a potentially very impressive cold outbreak across the Midwest, one that could also break some records as well. This doesn't look to be a one day event either as we could see a stretch from this coming Sunday to the middle of next week of very cold to near record breaking cold temperatures across portions of the region, including here in Illinois. Now, of course we are many days away from this but given there is good model agreement at this stage of the game, we wanted to give people an early heads up, especially those who think that once the calendar turns to March, warm weather returns. That is definitely not going to be the case this year.
I dig into some of the early details below
The rest of the week will be chilly and cold for the most part with a continued active look as well with several disturbances leading to snow chances between today and Friday. It is after a potential bigger system on Friday that the cold flood gates open up and much colder temperatures invade the Midwest, including here in Illinois. You're able to see this in the loop below, showing temperatures at 850mb, or 5,000ft, moving southeast into the region by Saturday afternoon and more so on Sunday. The loop itself runs from Friday afternoon all the way through next Wednesday night. With this long loop, you're able to visually see the staying power of this brutally cold air for early March. The purples, whites and grays are the very cold temperatures.
As things look now, and this could easily change but the coldest days look to be Sunday and Monday and these are the mornings that could potentially flirt with record lows across portions of the state. Below is forecast temperatures valid at 6am this coming Sunday.
Now here is forecast temperatures across the Midwest and Illinois on Monday morning. This is a favorably synoptic setup with a large surface high off to our east, allowing for both clear skies and also some cold air advection given the northwest winds to aid in advecting that very cold air into Illinois. So as you can see, there could be back to back mornings with temperatures below zero for portions of the state.
Lastly, I wanted to include the 6 to 10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center as this is their outlook centered on the time-frame being talked about in the article. As you can see, very cold and well below normal temperatures are expected across a wide area over the United States, all the way from the Canadian border down into Texas, with Illinois centered smack in the middle.
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