December was unusually "mild" comparatively speaking despite there being signs of cold across the northern hemisphere. Often, in winter, Arctic cold will dislodge to towards the equator but is confined to the "other side" of the hemisphere, across Europe and Siberia. Such was the case early this winter. But, if you recall there was a pretty decent outbreak of cold into the central U.S. back in October. Specifically the last 4 or 5 days in October and into November when daily average temperatures were 15 to 25 below normal. It was only a matter of time before the atmosphere aligned to bring the true Arctic air into the central U.S..
Low temperatures across Kansas during the outbreak reached at least -22 F (air temperature, not wind chill).
At least 5 to 10 degree air made it into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles and into northern Oklahoma. In Nebraska where a deep snowpack built up, readings were far colder!
The atmosphere is now transitioning back into a "warmer" one although snowpack across northern Kansas into Nebraska will hold the warming at bay. The storms in December and so far in January behaved about as expected based on the outlook provided by Hutton Weather Futures, LLC. Going forward there will likely be two impactful storms in February with minor occurrences on the table also for the central part of the country. March weather could get wild!
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