Jesse Ferrell

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Polar Cold Still Plaguing Northern Hemisphere

January 24, 2014; 10:51 AM ET

I talked a couple weeks ago about the big cold outbreak in the Midwest and Northeast United States, when Penn State set a 20-year cold record, dozens of stations set new daily records and wind chills fell to -60 F.

Well, it hasn't been much warmer since then, and the current cold wave is projected to last at least another week (much longer than the last one, if not quite as severe). Above is what the GFS computer model forecast for the Northern Hemisphere next Thursday morning. It's hard to find any temperatures above the 30s (green) on land on that map.

The European model (that predicted the early January cold wave a week out) was predicting temperatures as low as -20 in Pennsylvania next week, as of Wednesday evening (it has moderated slightly since). Even if it doesn't get that cold, it's going to be consistently cold for days on end. For example, the forecast for AccuWeather's Global Weather Center here in State College, Pa., is for highs in the teens every day except for one in the next week -- way below normal:

The NCDC U.S. records site shows several interesting milestones during this unrelenting winter:

There have been twice as many snow records broken this month so far versus last January. Twice as many cold weather records have been broken/tied as warm weather records this month. Over 1,700 low temperature records and over 1,000 snow records have been broken in the last month.

Now diamond dust is falling here at AccuWeather HQ in State College, Pa., (it's normally seen in Alaska & Canada), and school buses refuse to start in D.C. Average temperatures used for natural gas pricing are the worst since 2001. It's going to be a long week.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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