Some of us got some snow. Some of us didn't get any. Whether you got snow or not, you will be feeling the bitter cold settling into the Tennessee Valley tonight through Thursday.
Why So Cold? Remember The Polar Vortex?
This round of cold is actually the product of the polar vortex. We've heard about that more and more over the past few years. It isn't necessarily new, and it actually is always present. It is usually confined to areas near the North Pole. Fast winds as strong as 180 mph up high around 30,000 feet above sea level known as the jet stream blows from west to east constantly. It makes one complete path around the globe, encircling the North Pole. The coldest air on the planet is usually confined to the polar side of that stream, and that cold air spins within that ring of fast wind around the jet stream. The jet stream can become wavy, and the dips in the jet stream allow that cold air to flow southward. That's exactly what's happening.
So what does this mean for us? It means we are in for a cold couple of days. Temperatures will drop into the lower 20s by sunrise Wednesday with high teens in our coldest spots. The sun will shine on Wednesday, but will warm only into the low-to-mid 30s. Wednesday night and Thursday morning will drop into the teens. A warmer wind Thursday afternoon will start some warming. Highs will be in the mid-40s.
Warmth will build Friday through Tuesday. Morning lows will climb through the 30s and into the 40s and even 50s by next week. Afternoon highs will climb through the 50s and into the 60s by Sunday. The warmth will come with rainy periods on Friday, then more rain on Monday and Tuesday after a dry weekend.