Millions of people woke up under wind chill alerts Tuesday morning ahead of what would be not only the coldest day of the week but also the coldest day in three years in parts of the upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast.
Sunrise air temperatures were in the single digits well below zero, with winds cooling as low as minus 30 degrees across northern New England.
In fact, the air was very cold It can be seen from space on infrared satellite images.
Tuesday’s high temperatures are expected to drop 15 to 30 degrees Celsius below average, especially across the northeast. This means highs in the teens and twenties in most areas.
It will be the coldest afternoon since 2019 in New York, where the temperature was predicted to rise at 22 degrees, and in Boston, with a high of 12.
The Boston public school system, the largest in the state of Massachusetts, announced on Monday that schools will not open on Tuesday due to the expected frigid temperatures. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that four state-run Covid-19 testing sites will be closed Tuesday because of the cold.
The good news is that the cold blast will be short, with temperatures rising on Wednesday and expected to be much warmer over the weekend.
Even more shocking to the system, the continental United States just came out of the warmest December on record, helping to make 2021 the fourth warmest year on record.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 10 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — all recorded the warmest December on record.
Record warmth has triggered multiple tornado outbreaks, resulting in 193 confirmed tornadoes, the largest number of tornadoes on record in December.
Looking at 2021 as a whole, the average temperature in the 48 contiguous states was 54.5 degrees, a staggering 2.5 degrees higher than the 20th century average.
The six warmest years on record have occurred since 2012.
Maine and New Hampshire recorded the second warmest year on record, and 19 other states across the Northeast, Great Lakes, Plains, and West had their five warmest years.
Associated Press Contributed.