Cold, bitter, frigid, arctic blast and of course polar vortex are words we are all hearing a lot of this week. You might be wondering, is this really THAT cold? The answer is maybe, but it depends where you are and how you look at the statistics.
First, the coverage of the cold air over so much of the country is notable. Often in November one section of the United States sees arctic air, but it’s unusual for two-thirds of the lower 48 to see this type of widespread outbreak of cold.
Over the past 7 days if we look at the entire country there have been a lot of cold records being set. The chart below shows for example, 1360 daily low maximum records. This means those places had cold high temperatures which were records. Simply put, those cities and towns saw their coldest daily highs ever recorded. These records are for a particular date, not all-time.