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The warmest part of the Tuesday occurred at midnight, when temperatures were still in the upper 20s. By 6 a.m., temperatures were in the teens in most areas and the mercury will continue to fall throughout the day.
The wind has been quite strong and it’s making it feel even colder outside. Wind chill values will fall below zero frequently Tuesday with the persistent wind.
The wind has been beneficial in one way, drying roads and sidewalks during the night so ice isn’t a big problem. While this is the case, anytime you have temperatures fall from the mid-50s to the mid-teens you can encounter isolated icy patches while driving.
The cold weather will continue through Thursday morning. During the next couple of days, highs will be well below average and overnight lows will fall into the single numbers. I don’t expect widespread below zero temperatures for two reasons: First, the core of this cold air mass is staying to our west and second, the lack of snow cover will help to keep temperatures a bit higher than would occur with a deep snow pack.
You have likely heard the term “polar vortex." This meteorological phenomenon is simply a semi-permanent circulation of wind in the higher levels of the atmosphere. The circulation is normally found over the arctic region of the planet, but this week a piece of the polar vortex moved south and carried with it the bitter cold air much of the country is experiencing. The upper winds will reconfigure by the end of the week as the polar vortex retreats into Canada and our weather becomes milder.
As the cold air departs our "January Thaw" begins. Starting Friday and continuing for several days, highs will break the freezing mark. By the weekend, all of us will enjoy temperatures in the 40s. A return to colder weather, but not bitter cold, will occur sometime during the middle of next week.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with a high in the mid teens to lower 20s. Blustery, with gusty winds. A wind advisory for strong winds continues through 7 p.m. over Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod
Tuesday night: Mostly clear, with a lows 5-15. Wind chill values as 0 to 10 below. Winds continue steady all night.
Wednesday: Sunny, with a highs in the upper teen and lower 20s. Wind chill below zero, especially in the morning.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a lows 10-18. Light wind.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, not as cold. Highs 27-34.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy, with a lows in the teens to lower 20s.
Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32-38.
Friday night: A passing snow otherwise clouds. Lows in the 20s.
Saturday: A slight chance of rain and snow showers. Lots of clouds with a high 41-47.
Follow updates from David Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom.