Jesse Ferrell

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East Cold Wave Compared To 1994

January 13, 2009; 10:19 AM ET

Here's a look at the 1994 cold wave as compared to what we're predicting for Friday morning (the colors don't match so look at the keys):

You can also see the forecast from the GFS Forecast Model [JessePedia] which is even colder in some places. The January 1994 cold wave is the recent standard for extreme cold. Here are some of the temperatures (F) seen during that cold wave, along with the current forecast for Friday morning:

CITY: 1994 (Notes) | 2009

Portland, ME: -11 | -6

Pittsburgh, PA: -22 (Wow!) | 0

Washington, DC: -4 | 15

New York, NY: -2 | 8

Richmond, VA: -1 | 11

Raleigh, NC: +2 F (#3 20-Year Low*) | 15

Charlotte, NC: +6 F (#1 20-Year Low*) 12

What was your city in 1994? You can get a 30-day trial of our Premium service to see 17 years of daily weather data.

*According to according to William Schmitz, Service Climatologist/Meteorologist with the NOAA Southeast Regional Climate Center. 1994 stats from Premium using quality-controlled government data. Friday morning temps from

So, as you can see, this cold outbreak, according to our current forecast, pales in comparison to 1994, but it still will be the coldest of the season for most if not all of these locations. Professional's Joe Bastardi [BIO] (PRO USERS READ NOW | 30-DAY FREE TRIAL) however warns that the model numbers are MUCH colder than our forecast, and the actual numbers we're seeing today in the Northern Plains are COLDER than what the model predicted (like -44 at North Dakota!), so we still have a chance at approaching the 1994 numbers in some cities. He also notes that Thursday's snow event (see Headlines at right) will be the coldest snow in New York City since at least 2003:

This storm has a chance of being the coldest with accumulating snow (more than 1 inch, I think 3-6 inches) since the blizzard of '03 which had a high of 15 and a low of 6 the day of the storm. Going to be close. The new raw number for NYC is -1 for Friday morning. It had "warmed" to 15 when it took the low north of the city and had northwest winds, rather than northeast to north, but this morning it's down to 6 for Thursday night and 5 for Friday, with a high of 15 Friday. The Thursday high of 27 looks way too warm to me, as the actual number at 18z is now 12.7.

Keep an eye on our Headlines at right for more information on this cold outbreak, and put your two cents in on the Forums if you so desire. Frank Strait (PREMIUM | PRO) will have updates on the Southeast, and you can monitor the temperature at the home of the World's Worst Weather in Mount Washington, New Hampshire at right. Click to Brian's blog for an update on the cold temperatures too.

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About This Blog

Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.