If you love extreme weather, this January has been one to fall in love with.

We've already had a snowstorm dump around a foot of snow, a rainstorm drop an inch of rain and now record cold temperatures are expected to close out the month.

The National Weather Service says the biggest deep freeze of the winter season and one of the coldest ever will hit Akron beginning Wednesday. If the forecast holds true, the city could shatter records for low temperatures that date all the way back to 1887.

But first we will have a snowy weekend with temperatures only reaching the 20s Saturday and Sunday and a chance for snow showers every day through Tuesday.

The weather service says a series of clipper-like systems will be the culprits over the weekend with the biggest one expected Monday into Tuesday with 2 to 4 inches of widespread snow possible.

By Wednesday, the temperatures are predicted to plummet as a so-called Polar Vortex settles in, bringing Arctic air into the region.

Wednesday's high will struggle to reach the single digits, with a low around 12 below zero. This would shatter the previous record low of minus-6 for that date.

Things don't look to improve much on Thursday with a high of just 4 degrees, making it likely the record low of minus-5 for that date will also fall victim to the polar plunge.

Akron's biggest headache a week ago was heavy snow, but Deputy Service Director Chris Ludle said prolonged cold brings a whole new challenge, particularly when it eventually warms up. This is when weak waterlines under roads can break and potholes crop up.

Since the ground had been relatively warm up until the recent spate of weather, Ludle said, there hasn't been a deep freeze to wreak havoc on waterlines and roads. This will all change with brutal cold heading our way.

The National Weather Service in its forecast discussion describes the cold air as a "bowling ball" that will roll its way to Akron by Wednesday.

"Would not be surprised if the entire area does not get above zero on Wednesday," the weather service says. "Record lows for the end of January are in the -4 to -9 range and the current forecast represents several days of potential record lows."

 

Craig Webb, who might have to actually wear a coat to work next week, can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.