At least, it's sunny and warm in my office. Outside it's sunny and -18°C. I experienced what may be characterized as a "brisk" walk from the bus this morning.
This, believe it or not, will lead to a brief respite from the winter we didn't really expect. The Tribune reports this morning that the 50 hours of snowfall we had earlier this week put down more snow than any other storm since February 2011. It gets better:
There’s plenty of snow to blow around. The 620 mm on the books to date for the 2013-14 Chicago snow season is the heaviest tally this early in 13 years. What’s more, the 50 hours of “on and off” snowfall, which began Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) afternoon, had by late Thursday produced the biggest accumulation of snow here since the February Ground Hog’s Day Blizzard in 2011.
Midway Airport was home to a 312 mm storm total the past 3 days while O’Hare checked in with 277 mm. Amounts were even more impressive north and west of the city. There, as much as 450 mm fell at Arlington Heights and Gurnee....
Oh, but wait for it:
Bitterly cold air is to come crashing southward into the Lower 48 over the weekend, producing wind chills as low as -60°C in northern Minnesota by Sunday morning. That level of chill is occurring as a brutally cold air mass proceeds south from Canada, breaking a host of temp record records on the way, and producing a non-stop 60 hour stretch of temperatures which fail to break above 0-degrees. That would be the longest sub-zero [Fahrenheit] period of the past 18 years.
Monday's forecast calls for a high around -22°C and a low around -27°C outside the city and -24°C overnight.
For some reason, the Climate Prediction Center believes we'll have above-normal temperatures shortly after that. One can dream...