Will Any Rockford Weather Records Be Broken By The Polar Vortex?
I think it's fair to assume that most of us are really tired of this incredibly frigid weather we've been enduring for nearly two weeks (with about 10 more days to go).
I say most of us because there are always a few people who start in with the "This weather's not so bad! or "I find this cold weather invigorating!" stuff that just makes you want to shove their face in a snowbank.
By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, pretty much the entire country is dealing with these bone-chilling temps. Take a look at this map:
Okay, so maybe that's not an actual map of the United States, but it's pretty close to what's going on from coast to coast.
I am looking at an actual 10-day forecast for the Rockford area, and it says that we won't even come close to the freezing mark (32 degrees) until a week from this Sunday. Our overnight low temperatures here in Rockford will be going as low as 12 degrees below zero for the next few days, too.
So, how does the current Rockford deep-freeze compare with what we've seen here in the past? Are we going to break any long-held records?
The quick answers are that we've been much colder in the past, and it doesn't look like this polar vortex is going to be one for the record books.
I checked some numbers with the National Weather Service to put our current weather system into perspective, and here's what I found:
We're not that far removed from a record setting low temperature. Rockford's all time low, according to the National Weather Service, was set on January 31st, 2019, when we hit minus-31 degrees (straight temperature, not factoring in wind chill).
Rockford's coldest winter season ever was when we averaged 14.1 degrees during the winter of 1978-79. The coldest month Rockford ever had was back in 1912, when the month of January had an average temperature of 4.7 degrees.
Finally, just to give you a good shiver, let's take a look at the coldest wind chill ever felt in Rockford. The National Weather Service says that happened on January 20th, 1985. On that date, Rockford's record-setting wind chill number was 72 degrees below zero.