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Ask Todd: Arctic blast

10:53 PM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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Harold Edwards asks: "Do you remember January 1985 when Knoxville experienced a record low temperature of minus 24 degrees? This weather center website indicates a "severe arctic cold blast could mimic January 1985. What do you think?"

Thanks for the question Harold.

That minus 24 degrees is the all-time lowest temperature in Knoxville, according to the National Weather Service.

We hit that bitter cold temperature on January 21, 1985. The average temperature in Knoxville for that date is 38 degrees. Right now our temperatures are way above that average, hitting highs in the 60s. So, if a negative 24 degree day is on the horizon, we're in store for a wild January.

The website Harold is talking about is a blog called "The Weather Centre." The authors are predicting a very cold end to the winter season.

They reference October as part of their explanation of why it will get really cold. According to the site, in October we started the month well below normal snow cover, hence the warm December and start to January. But, in the middle and end of October, we saw above normal snow cover in the Arctic region.

The author says that means conditions could turn favorable for really cold conditions in January and February.

The theory is the cold weather will move south and blast us.

We're not predicting that here because we've been unseasonably warm, but we'll see. Winter still has a ways to go before it's over, but we don't think temperatures will come anywhere close to those in 1985.

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