More ARCTIC Cold on the way - why it won't be as bad as last time!

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Quad Cities (KWQC) - Wednesday we'll feel the arrival of ANOTHER round of Arctic air from the north. With the high pressure center right on top of us Wednesday night and Thursday morning, keeping our skies clear and our wind light, we'll have the stage set for lows in the single digits. But, unlike the last time this happened on Valentine's Day morning, we won't see the lows go BELOW zero. This is because there won't be any snow on the ground. Having snow on the ground makes a BIG difference in the potential for brutally cold low temps in a morning. Snow acts as the ice that it is and when cold air is en route from the north it uses the snow like an ice skater to slip as far south as possible with it's chilling grip. If that cold air runs OFF the snow pack and gets over bare ground it "modifies". This means that as it rubs along the bare ground it not only gains heat from friction but also gains heat from the warmth radiating out of the bare ground. When that air is running over a snow pack it never loses any of the cold that it's bringing because that snow cuts off the warmth that can be gained by contact with the bare ground. That said, it will still be cold on Thursday morning, but we'll see lows in the single digits ABOVE zero when, if we had snow on the ground, those lows could easily be in the negative numbers!