Arctic high brings a cold end to the week

National Weather Service graphic

National Weather Service graphic

Stronger snow showers and lake-effect snow could be an issue for areas near the lake, according to the National Weather Service.

As the center of Arctic-source high pressure moves off to the east Thursday, a fast-moving "clipper" low pressure system will sweep through from the northwest, spreading 1 to 2 inches of fluffy snow across the Chicago area. And there have been winter weather advisories throughout the Finger Lakes Region, western NY and the North Country because of lake effect snow.

The chance of rain or sleet after daybreak Wednesday is 30 percent, and the highs tomorrow are expected to be in the mid 40s.

Forget the tux and the little black dress for New Year's Eve.

Expect the cold temperatures to hang around at least through the middle of next week, said National Weather Service meteorologist John Quinlan.

Low temperatures Thursday morning dropped into the teens across the metro with some isolated single digits in western Virginia.

I often refer to the "wind chill" as the "feels like temperature", but it's really just part of the definition.

Otherwise, cold is king and the earliest the cold would ease may not be until the second week of January, so prepare to bundle up as 2017 turns into 2018. Record low temperatures could be approached at JFK airport (12 degrees in 1960) and at LaGuardia (also 12 degrees in 1952). Sunshine continues Tuesday but so does the frigid cold Morning lows are in the single digits and highs are in the lower 20s. We are forecasting highs in the teens on Monday (New Year's Day), and there will be a stiff breeze that could keep the wind chill close to zero. The incoming airmass is likely to be cold enough to support frozen precip, but as ever the question is whether the track of the developing Gulf low will thread the needle between being cold enough/too dry if it tracks to the south, or wet enough/all rain if it tracks north. NYE (Sunday) high temperatures will be limited to the mid 20s. If that holds for the average December temperature, it's only the 94th coldest on record, stretching all the way back to records that begin in 1893. The welcomed sunshine will take some of the sting off the temperatures for Thursday afternoon. That's nearly 20 degrees below normal for early January!

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