With the cold week ahead, I thought I'd dig up some records to put this cold spell in perspective.
It turns out the record lows this week are all much colder than our forecasted low temperatures. The record lows all range from -7 to -22. The National Weather Service has -22 as the "unofficial" coldest temperature recorded in St. Louis, which was on January 5th 1884. That record will luckily stay in-tact s. The coldest morning in our forecast is Saturday morning which may dip below zero (Click here for the updated 7-day as low temperature forecast changes).
If Saturday morning dips below zero, it would be the coldest temperature in more than a decade! The last time the temperature at St. Louis Lambert went below zero was in January 1999. But I looked at the cold spells we had last Winter and we actually hit 0 degrees twice! So, we've been really close.
Also, we had three separate Arctic outbreaks last Winter that plunged our morning lows into the single digits. This is our first of this Winter, though it's longer compared to last Winter. This Winter we're likely to have 7 out of 8 days with single digit low temperatures. Last Winter we had at most 3 days in a row with single digit lows.
This cold spell should give us about 10 days with high temperatures below freezing, but the record is 30 days below freezing! Again, that record stays in-tact as we expect to warm to the low 30s by Monday.
So, it appears the cold we're dealing with isn't unprecedented and probably won't set a record. However, that doesn't make it any easier to get through. So hang in there, try to stay warm and bundled up and we can look forward to the balmy 30s for highs by early next week.