Heart of the Cold

The massive dome of cold air that brought snow and ice to much of the country is centered over Missouri this morning, giving us a morning low of minus 4 degrees F; it doesn't get much colder at this latitude of the American Midwest. Indeed, since we now sit beneath the heart of the dome, it is currently 15 degrees colder in Columbia than it is in northern North Dakota.

While it's still far to early to know, this may be the coldest morning of the winter. As the atmospheric dome drifts off to the east, our afternoon high will rebound into the mid twenties, a typical overnight low for this time of year; a return to more seasonable temperatures, later in the week, will feel like spring.

Mid January is often the most difficult time of year for humans in the Northern Hemisphere. Though we are a few weeks past the winter solstice, longer days will not become apparent until later in the month and the persistent darkness and cold begin to take a toll on our minds and bodies. Designed to function in the Tropics, we were coaxed into northern latitudes by our large brains and must now live with the consequences.