The worst of the winter cold has arrived.
During what’s been called one of the coldest winters in years with temperatures comparable to the Blizzard of 1977, there have been snow days and cancellations galore.
However, the weather is about to turn around.
Jim Mitchell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said temperatures are not expected to drop as low again as they have in recent days.
“We’re going to see the pattern relax somewhat as we get to the end of the week and see some of the warmest temperatures in weeks,” Mitchell said, adding that temperatures should reach near 30 degrees by Saturday and stay in the 20s on Sunday and Monday.
The high for today in Jamestown is 13 degrees, returning to subzero temperatures at night. However, Thursday’s high will be 26 degrees, slowly increasing throughout the rest of the week.
Mitchell said this, the third week of January, is typically the coldest part of winter, and with February approaching, the sun’s rays are becoming stronger.
“It’s getting harder for these punches of cold air to last longer,” he said. “Looking at the weather pattern, I don’t know if we’ll see anything quite this brutal again. Not to say it can’t happen.”
The week’s freezing temperatures are similar to early January’s polar vortex in terms of origin.
“It’s coming right out of the poles in far, far northern Canada,” Mitchell said.
More than half of the country has and will be affected this week, according to the National Weather Service.
The lowest temperature recorded so far in 2014 was minus 14 on Jan. 7, which does not take into account the wind chill. Tuesday’s recorded low temperature was -11.
“A historic snowstorm is going to happen in the southeast states, all the way from the Gulf Coast through southern Georgia and up through the eastern Carolinas and southeastern Virginia,” he said. “It’s quite unusual, and they don’t have the equipment to deal with that.”
Former Jamestown resident Chelsea Atkins said the eastern portion of North Carolina where she currently resides is seeing this storm’s ramifications.
“Nobody really has snow tires. I’m not even sure people have snow brushes,” Atkins said. “These are winding, icy mountain roads and they’re not treated. There isn’t money in the budget because they don’t anticipate (this weather).”
Mitchell said the eastern portion of the country will see better days, though.
“We’ll all see modification,” he said. “We’re all going to warm back up.”