What will the Polar Vortex do to Augusta this Week?

With all of the talk about the coldest temperatures in decades and the polar vortex, you may be wondering what to expect in the Augusta area.

The short answer is: not too much.

While Chicago residents are preparing for their coldest temperature ever on record (possibly colder than the all-time record of -27° on January 20, 1985), the severely cold air won’t make it far enough south to have much impact in the Central Savannah River Area.

How Cold Will it Get?

Will it be cold in the CSRA? Yes, but not really any colder than what we’ve seen so far this winter season. The arctic cold front responsible for all of the expected record-breaking cold in the Midwest will move through the Augusta area Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures are expected to drop quickly after the front passes through, and dip into the mid 20s for early Wednesday morning. Temperatures are expected to rebound to a high near 50 degrees Wednesday afternoon. By comparison, the average low temperature this time of year is in the low to middle 30s in Augusta. So, we’re not expecting anything drastically below average for this time of year.

Will it Snow?

Despite snow expected in other parts of the deep South, temperatures will be too warm for any snow in the Central Savannah River Area on Tuesday as the front moves into the area. Rainfall is expected, and it should remain all rain. However, to the west of the CSRA, in parts of northwestern Georgia, including the Atlanta metro area, a dusting to 1 or 2 inches of snow is possible.

While snow is not expected, Augusta area residents will have to watch out for the possibility of icy roads and bridges as they head to work and school Wednesday morning. That’s because lingering moisture could easily freeze once the cold air moves in Tuesday night. So, you may want to give yourself a little extra time to get to work on Wednesday if you normally head out early in the morning.

What is the Polar Vortex?

The polar vortex is nothing new and is not as unusual or dangerous as it might sound. The National Weather Service provides an excellent description of what the polar vortex is and is not.

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