The mild air continues today as the winds stay southwesterly and strong in advance of a cold front that will pass through Saturday.
Behind that front is bitterly cold Arctic air, the coldest air mass to hit southeast Wisconsin in close to two years. Last winter we experienced only one cold spell, which ran from Jan. 18 through Jan. 20.
During those four days, low temperatures ranged from one degree below zero to six degrees above zero in Milwaukee. Daytime temperatures were in the teens and twenties, so it wasn’t a brutal cold spell.
We expect high temperatures to range from the teens and single digits Sunday through Wednesday, and low temperatures to be near or below zero on Monday through Wednesday.
Cold blasts have been brutal in the past around Milwaukee, with many consecutive day cold temperature records running from ten to more than fifty days of extremely chilly air. For example, the ten coldest consecutive days in Milwaukee occurred from Jan. 3 through Jan. 12, 1912, when the average temperature for those ten days was six degrees below zero!
The longest period of consecutive days with low temperatures below zero was seventeen running from Jan. 27 through Feb. 12, 1895. The longest period of days with temperatures below freezing was 52 days from Dec. 31 through Feb. 20, in 1979.