Temperatures have been brutal across parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes but the coldest air is on its way. A true arctic airmass will engulf the region by mid-week. Extremely dangerous cold is expected from Tuesday night through Thursday for the Midwest and Great Lakes. The region can expect widespread temperatures of 30 degrees below zero Wednesday morning and Thursday morning. The feels like temperatures will be even colder. Some areas may see the feels like temperature drop to 50 or 60 degrees below zero (see Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4).
The cold airmass will work its way east and south into the Northeast and parts of the Southeast by late week. The coldest temperatures will be Thursday morning for the Northeast where widespread 30 degrees below zero feels like temperatures are likely (see Fig. 5). The Southeast will also see its coldest feels like temperatures Thursday morning. Feels like temperatures for the Southeast will be approaching single digits (see Fig. 6). Some of the higher terrain in parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia will see feels like temperatures approach zero with below zero reading in the North Carolina mountains.
Snow will accompany the cold across the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast (Fig. 7). Some areas in the Midwest will see blizzard-like conditions.
This magnitude of cold is extremely dangerous. Make sure you take this seriously. Do not leave pets outside in this cold weather. Make sure you check on your elderly neighbors. It is also important to exercise caution when using space heaters and make sure you have a cold-weather safety kit in your car incase you get stranded.
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!