Some Easing of the Cold but still Chilly
As anticipated an Arctic chill has descended on the USA. Record cold was reported last week and over the weekend in many areas of the west, Rockies and northern plains. Some locations set all time record lows and others tied or nearly tied all time record lows.
Eugene, OR -10F (second coldest temperature recorded in 123 years of record keeping)
Burns, OR -30F
Chester, MT -46F
Marias Pass, MT -44F
Simpson, MT -41F
Boise, ID -6F
Laramie, WY -31F
Grand Forks, ND -24F
Denver, CO -15F
Chadron, NE -23F
Rapid City, SD -13F
This recent cold snap was the earliest and most severe of cold waves for quite sometime. Many folks have mentioned the December cold outbreaks of 1972 and 1982 as being similar to this past week. Indeed, many of the records tied or broken go back to 1972 or 1982.
In addition to the Arctic outbreak of cold, snowfall was common in many areas, along with ice. As of Sunday, 59% of the USA had snow cover as compared to only 18% of the USA covered in snow for the same time last year.
While there will be some relief from the cold in the Pacific Northwest and Rockies over the next week, there will still be plenty of cold across the Upper Midwest, Plains, Great Lakes and Northeast. Temperatures will only warm to normal values in the western areas hit by the severe cold last week.
Weather patterns suggest that while we may not see as much severe cold during the remainder of December we may have more cold shots coming our way for most of the nation. Expect another possible cold shot with snow for many areas between December 20th and the New Year.
Hay supplies will be severely dented over the coming weeks.