Savage Albeit Short Lived Arctic Assault

While certainly not as exciting as a snowstorm the impending Arctic Assault is much more dangerous then any storm we have seen this winter.  The potential for harm to children and the elderly is much greater than even the snow storm last Friday that killed 2 people.  The good news is this will be a short battle with the cold.  Temperatures may be near 50 with whipping winds Tuesday afternoon.  A rare Wind Chill Warning is in effect from 4 PM Saturday to 12 PM Sunday for much of Southern New England.

NWS Boston hazards

Today is very cold but we can handle it. Temperatures do not begin to plummet until around noon tomorrow.  The surface map shows the Arctic boundary in the Northern Great Lakes/Southern Ontario
WPC surface analysis 7 AM
One can see the boundary on the surface temperature chart
RTMA 2 m temps 8 AM (image Weatherbell)
Today we stay in the upper teens with wind chills around 10.  Very cold no doubt.  When that boundary slides through tomorrow AM it will feel like a sucker punch to the jaw.  Here is the surface forecast (I've drawn in the boundary since the blue doesn't show up well with the snow squall threat)
WPC surface forecast 7 am Saturday
Notice that parts of Maine are going to get hammered with snow tomorrow.  A good 6-10"+ is likely for the Bangor to Eastport regions.  A few snow squalls are likely in Southern New England as haymaker lands. We could be looking at 2-4" down the Cape and Islands. Nantucket is already under a Winter Weather Advisory

The projected wind chills for noon tomorrow are already below zero into Worcester County.  So first lets take a quick NWS Boston weather class.  What is wind chill?
What is wind chill? NWS Boston
Now that you know what wind chill is let us look at the various wind chills expected through Sunday morning
06z NAM hires 2 m wind chill temps Sat 12 PM (image weatherbell)
Actual air temperatures start to go below zero around 4-5 PM in Western New England.  They go negative in Worcester around 6-7, and most of New England by 10 PM.  It could be approaching -10 by 10 in Worcester! 
06z NAM hires 2 m temps Saturday 10 PM (image Weatherbell)
Winds will be gusting 20-30 even at times up to 40 MPH.  So by 1 PM wind chills are are ridiculous -30 to -40.  Frostbite will occur within 10 minutes at these temperatures.
06z NAM hires 2 m wind chill temps 1 AM Sunday (image Weatherbell)
Now it is time for classroom part 2.  What are the signs of cold related illnesses?
Dangers of extreme cold NWS Boston
How can we prepare for this?
Cold tips - NWS Boston
Dressing for Cold - NWS Boston
Here are the records and my forecast.  Boston has not set a record cold minimum temperature in February since 1967.  That is amazing.  As cold as last year was it was a lot of cold high temps and temps a few degrees below zero which ended up giving most of the region its coldest month on record.  This is impressive stuff.
SOuthern New England record, forecast (via ME)
Stay safe friends this cold is no joke. 

-Zack Green


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