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Weekly Weather Event -Week of Feb. 1

February 5, 2021

The Midwest and northern Plain states are bracing for cold temperatures next week as a polar vortex descends from Canada into the United States. While the 2020-2012 winter season has been relatively mild up until now, with temperatures between 3 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above average, this incursion of Arctic air will drop temperatures up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in some places. Wind gusts may reach up to 30mph tonight into Saturday, and Madison may see wind chill values dropping as low as –25 Fahrenheit on Saturday night into Sunday morning.

These low temperatures run risks that have been addressed in former weekly weather events, including frost bite, hypothermia, frozen water pipes, and issues starting cars. In fact, temperatures may drop low enough for antifreeze to no longer be as effective. Precautions should be taken to limit time outside, and multiple layers are recommended for anyone going outside for a prolonged period.

If anyone is interested in more of the science behind this incoming polar vortex, Professor Martin’s new video series series covers some of the dynamical components of the weather. Be sure to check it out and spread the word to any students you may know!