Earlier this week, a massive arctic air mass moved across most of the western and central U.S.
At Spokane International Airport, the mercury plunged to minus 2 Sunday morning, and the high that day was only 15 degrees.
The minus 2 reading wasn’t a record, but an all-time coldest record temperature did occur at Lakeview, Ore., as the mercury dropped to minus 27. The old record was minus 24, set Jan. 15, 1888. Other records across the West included a minus 43 reading at Chinook, Mont. It was minus 37 at Old Faithful in Wyoming and minus 38 at Silver Lake, Ore. Stanley, Idaho, was minus 17.
The temperatures reported early this week were the coldest since December 1990 in parts of California and Oregon. Despite the frigid weather, there was relatively mild weather in the arctic region of Alaska. On Saturday, it was 39 degrees with rain falling. Many stations in the Arctic Circle reported temperatures in the 30s, much above normal for this time of year.
In the central U.S. the weather finally began to warm up a bit early in the week following a nasty weekend at the busy Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Record cold early December weather in north-central Texas turned the region into a dangerous “ice rink.” More than 3,000 people slept on cots at the airport last Thursday. That figure swelled to 4,000 on Friday. By Sunday afternoon, there had been a record 1,100 flight cancellations in Dallas/Fort Worth alone over a four-day period.
Heavy snows plagued many NFL games on Sunday. Blizzard conditions in Philadelphia, however, didn’t keep the Eagles from trouncing Detroit.
As far as our weather is concerned, temperatures are finally getting warmer as milder air moves in from the south. Snow is possible through Friday, and we could see rain or snow this weekend as highs climb into the mid to upper 30s. However, snow should fall in the higher mountains, which is good news for skiers and snowboarders.
By next week, there is a good chance for snow showers and temperatures will be turning colder once again. Assuming this pattern develops during the full moon lunar phase, the odds for a white Christmas are still looking pretty good.