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Winter not done: March to start with record cold

The chance of temperatures being below normal from March 2-6. Climate Prediction Center
Who's ready for some big-time cold to begin the month of March? We probably know the answer to that question. After the blast of record-shattering cold that invaded the Midwest and Great Lakes in late January, we were probably all fed up with the cold. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is preparing to send some frigid air our way just as March gets underway. This particular cold blast won't be anywhere near as bad as what we had a month ago, though.

March 3-5 could feature near-record temperatures in South Bend.
It will, however, be unusually cold for March standards. Many locations across the Midwest and Great Lakes will be 25-35° below normal. That is a big deal. Records are likely to fall across the nation's midsection with some forecast models suggesting some of the coldest March air in recorded history. It is important to note that there is noticeable disagreement among the various models regarding the extent of the cold for us here in Michiana. There's roughly a 50-50 split in the models between "for sure" record-breaking cold and "not quite that cold." 

One model's idea of wind chill temperatures Sunday morning.
So it's important to understand that this forecast is fluid and will likely change at least minimally over the next few days as new data come in. Regardless of which model is right, there will be significantly below normal air in place for at least three days beginning this coming Sunday. And, with the potential for breezy conditions, wind chills could easily drop to -10° to -20° Sunday morning. Subzero wind chills are likely next Monday and Tuesday as well.

Probability of wind chill temperatures falling below zero for the period March 2-6. Climate Prediction Center
In fact, the Climate Prediction Center has already placed all of Michiana in a 90-100% chance of seeing wind chills below 0° at some point between March 2nd and March 6th. We're even in the 50-60% chance category for wind chills of -20° and colder! In other words, don't expect winter to simply give in and spring to begin once March starts this Friday. The cold is returning, and it could break some records! 

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