Arctic Outbreak - Extreme Cold
Saturday-Sunday February 13-14, 2016
______________________________________________________________________________________________


Smack right in the middle of a mild winter, influenced by the ongoing significant 2015-16 El Nino, came this brief but intense outbreak of arctic cold as a piece of frigid polar air broke away from the north pole and was driven into the Northeast through Saturday February 13. The arctic cold front moved through the Capital Region between 4 and 5am with temperatures tumbling through the day and wind chills dropping to dangerously low levels through the evening and overnight period with frequent wind gusts from 35-45 mph driving the cold into the region. The 850mb temperature measured from the Albany National Weather Service balloon launch at 7pm on the 13th was recorded to be -30.8° C, which unofficially is the lowest recorded 850 mb temperature measured at Albany breaking the previous record of -30.5° C which was set on January 4 1981 and again on January 18, 1982.

Wind chills dropped to -30° or lower in the Capital Region for ten consecutive hours between 11pm on the 13th and 8am on the 14th with the lowest wind chill on the hour of -35° at 5am at Albany. Wind chills dropped to a range of -40 to -50° at times in the Mohawk valley, Adirondacks and VT green mountains and high spots in the Berkshires and Catskills with an astounding low wind chill of -114° registered on top of Whiteface mountain in the Adirondacks at an elevation of 4865 feet early Sunday morning.

Actual air temperatures plunged to a range of -10° to -20° across the region with some pockets of -25° to -33° primarily in the Adirondacks, and Vermont. Albany set a record low temperature Sunday morning the 14th of -13° breaking the previous record for the date of -10° set in 1987.

The cold persisted through the day on Sunday with high temperatures ranging from 5°-10°, then dropping to between -4° and -10° with pockets of -15° in higher elevation locations into Monday morning the 15th. Bright sunshine and a much decreased wind on Sunday, however, made being outside slightly more bearable as wind chills generally ranged from -5° to -10°.

Records @ Albany

Low Temperature/14th: -13° @ 7:36am, previous -10 °/1987

Record Low 850 mb Temperature (Unofficial): -30.8° C 7pm (00z/15th) sounding profile, previous -30.5° Jan 4, 1981 and Jan 18, 1982


Temperature, Dewpoint, Wind, and Wind Chill Plot For Albany, NY February 13-14, 2016

TIME
TEMPERATURE
DEWPOINT
WIND DIR/SPEED
Wind Chill
12am
20
4
South 7 mph
11
1am
19
4
South 6 mph
11
2am
19
6
Var. 3 mph
NA
3am
15
5
Calm
NA
4am
14
5
Calm
NA
5am
18
7
West 12 mph
5
6am
17
6
NW 9 mph
6
7am
15
4
West 13 mph
1
8am
13
0
West 14, G 21 mph
-2
9am
13
-3
West 17 mph
-4
10am
11
-6
NW 24, G 41 mph
-9
11am
9
-10
West 26, G 40 mph
-12
12pm
8
-12
NW 23, G 36 mph
-13
1pm
5
-15
NW 26, G 43 mph
-18
2pm
4
-14
NW 22, G 37 mph
-18
3pm
4
-16
West 17, G 38 mph
-15
4pm
1
-16
NW 24, G 40 mph
-22
5pm
0
-17
West 29, G 38 mph
-26
6pm
-1
-20
NW 14, G 28 mph
-20
7pm
-2
-18
West 17, G 29 mph
-23
8pm
-3
-17
NW 23, G 31 mph
-27
9pm
-6
-24
North 13, G 25 mph
-26
10pm
-7
-25
NW 14 mph
-28
11pm
-8
-26
NW 22, G 28 mph
-33
12am/14th
-9
-26
NW 17 mph
-32
1am
-9
-25
NW 13 mph
-30
2am
-10
-26
NW 14 mph
-32
3am
-11
-27
NW 14 mph
-33
4am
-12
-27
NW 12 mph
-33
5am
-13
-26
NW 13 mph
-35
6am
-13
-26
NW 10 mph
-32
7am
-13
-26
NW 8 mph
-30
8am
-12
-26
NW 10 mph
-31
9am
-10
-24
NW 7 mph
-25
10am
-7
-23
Var. 5 mph
-19
11am
-3
-21
Var. 7 mph
-17
12pm
1
-19
Var. 7 mph
-12
1pm
3
-19
NW 12 mph
-14
2pm
5
-19
NW 8 mph
-8
3pm
6
-18
West 5 mph
-3
4pm
8
-17
NW 9, G 18 mph
-5
5pm
6
-17
West 12 mph
-10
6pm
4
-16
NW 7 mph
-8
7pm
3
-16
West 5 mph
-7
8pm
2
-15
NW 5 mph
-8
9pm
2
-16
Calm
NA
10pm
1
-14
East 3 mph
NA
11pm
-1
-13
South 5 mph
-12
12am/15th
-1
-13
Calm
NA