Severe Arctic chill to bring out-of-this-world cold to US next week

By Blake Mathews, Weather producer, meteorologist, bmathews@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 03 2014 02:20:20 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 03 2014 08:23:37 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla -

The strongest arctic outbreak in more than a decade is about to grip the country bringing with it deadly cold to many states where both daily high minimum temperatures and overnight low temperatures could be shattered in many places, including Jacksonville.

Trivia question of the day: Which was colder on Friday? Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada or the surface of Mars? If you guessed Winnipeg, you are correct. According to the CBCNews in Manitoba, the Mars rover 'Curiosity' recorded a high temperature on Monday of -29°C (-20°F) while the high in Winnipeg on Tuesday was only expected to reach -31°C (-24°F) with wind chills nearing -50°F! 

That kind of cold not only kills but can freeze skin in less than 5 minutes.

If you're not chilled to the bone yet, it gets better. The worst of the cold has yet to arrive. 

The high in Minneapolis Friday was expected to reach near 20 degrees. This will be considered near summer-time weather compared to Monday's expected high of -- ready for this -- 17 degrees BELOW zero, with overnight lows in the mid -30s. It doesn't stop there though. Chicago is expected to drop between -14 and -17°F. 

The National Football League is gearing up for what may be the coldest game in NFL history this Sunday between Green Bay and the 49ers. The models are showing a high of -5°F on Sunday with a low of -25°F. The game kicks off at 4:40 pm with temperatures hovering near -8°F. That will be close to breaking the all-time coldest game on record, known as the 'Ice Bowl' in 1967 between the Packers and the Cowboys with a temperature of -13°F. 

So what's all this mean for Jacksonville? Simply put, it'll be the coldest air we've seen this winter season and may even break records for both daytime high temperatures and overnight lows.

The record low maximum high on Tuesday, January 7th, is 45°F set in 1970. That record looks to be in serious jeopardy. Overnight record low is 21°F also set in 1970. That record may also be in trouble but not as certain. 

The arctic front is forecast to blow through Jacksonville on Monday. Temperatures will utterly crater behind the front where wind chill advisories or warnings may be needed. Hard freeze warnings will be issued, likely on Sunday, for nearly the entire viewing area. Even the beaches may see a light freeze. High temperatures on Tuesday will struggle to get out of the 30s in Jacksonville -- something that hasn't happened since January 2010 (37°F high on the 9th).

The freeze that is coming will most certainly threaten most tropical plants and exposed pipes. Also pets and folks without heat will also need shelter. 

After highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s this weekend, the change in the weather will be all the more dramatic. Please stay tuned for the latest on this developing weather situation. 

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