Kansas City has been in the freezer for eight straight days now, and after Saturday it’s likely to be midweek before we even get close to the 32-degree mark.
The last time Kansas City International Airport was above the freezing point was 8 p.m. Jan. 30.
The eight-day stretch of subfreezing readings in Kansas City ties for the 40th longest on record, dating to 1888.
The forecast calls for a high Saturday close to 30 degrees, followed by three days in the teens and a high near the freezing mark on Wednesday. Then we can expect a bounce to about 40 degrees.
Should we stay below freezing through Wednesday, the streak would reach 13 days — tied for the 13th longest.
This already is the 15th-coldest start to a new year. The average temperature for the first 37 days of this year is 22.7 degrees, about 6.3 degrees below the normal average temperature for the same period.
There are two major causes for Kansas City’s freeze. The first is a weather pattern that brought cold air in from the north, according to Spencer Mell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
The second was the polar vortex that moved into our area, bringing extreme Canadian-type temperatures.
Typically the coldest stretch in Kansas City is Jan. 10-22, Mell said. Normal highs in February are in the lower 40s, with lows in the lower 20s.
By the end of February, normal highs are around 50.
But does that signal relief soon?
“We hope,” Mell said. “Unfortunately, the bulk of February appears that it will remain colder than normal.”