Leslie's Omnibus

Traffic Alert

Yes, it's going to feel like the frozen tundra here later this evening:
A sprawling mass of intensely cold air draped across Canada and interior Alaska---and the source of the Midwest's predicted chill--- has strengthened over the past week. Readings Thursday were as much as 30-degrees colder than a week ago. A cross-polar jet stream has infused the cold air there with a supply of even colder Siberian air. Daybreak Thursday readings dipped to 47-below at Fort Yukon, Alaska and to 49-below at Dawson in Canada's Yukon Territory.

What arrives Thursday night and Friday morning on gusty northwest winds is but a lobe of cold air off that vast wintry reservoir of air. If there's one piece of good news which accompanies the cold blast, it's that the chill is to hit hard for a day and a half then back off, giving way to a more moderate brand of cold air this weekend. But, while its stay here is to be comparatively brief, the near 0-degree low temperature predicted at O'Hare is to be accompanied by 15 to 20 mph sustained winds likely to generate dangerous wind chills under 20-below---and potentially as low as 30-below in a few of colder locations north and northwest of the city. Winds will diminish quickly Friday and the cloud increase predicted in the afternoon and evening is to occur as a flood of "milder" air runs up and over the retreating bitter chill. This is to lead to light snow amid rising temperatures Friday night and to a rebound into the upper teens to around 20 Saturday and to the mid 20s with east winds off Lake Michigan supporting possible snow flurries Sunday.

Make sure you're bundled up before you go outside, and that you've got footwear with good traction. Salt doesn't melt ice at these temps, and loads of sidewalks are frozen over right now. In addition, this is frostbite weather, and it's nothing to fool with.

Ear Worm of the Day?


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