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Arctic air to slide from Plains to East Coast, 'every bit as cold' as last week

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 1/23/2022 Jessica Storm

After an Arctic air mass produced some of the coldest conditions of the season across the Midwest and Northeast at the end of last week and into the weekend, at least one more bone-chilling event is in store this week as the bitterly cold waves continue.

"Northern regions of the U.S. have been no stranger to cold air this month with several injections of cold air being felt from the Midwest into New England," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Lauren Hyde.

New York City felt the chill as temperatures dove into the teens overnight on Thursday and Friday, while Boston's temperatures fell to 9 degrees Fahrenheit early Friday morning. Philadelphia recorded a low of 14 F early on Saturday morning, over 10 degrees below its average in the middle 20s for this time of year. Portions of the Plains and Midwest, however, knocked these temperatures out of the ballpark with lows in the -20s on Friday night. Though warm weather lovers might be hoping for a reprieve, winter is set to continue.

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Temperatures at 3 a.m. Sunday across the Upper Midwest. (AccuWeather)

"Times of cold air are far from over, and next week could feature not one, but two cold air masses moving into the Lower 48," said Hyde.

Reinforcing shots of frigid air are expected to flow one by one behind Alberta clippers that dive across the northern Plains and Midwest, stretching subfreezing temperatures even into the South.

"Cold air could reach as far south as northern Florida, leading to a chilly situation for parts of the Sunshine State," Hyde said.

Low temperatures in the upper 20s are forecast for parts of the Florida Panhandle, northern Florida Peninsula, southern Alabama, and southern Mississippi. This will include cities like Jacksonville, Florida, where average low temperatures are in the lower 40s in January.

"Sunshine during the daytime over the bare ground may take some of the chill out of the air, with highs trending in the mid-50s, which is about 10 degrees below average by Sunday afternoon," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.


Video: Springlike temperatures won't last long in the Northeast (AccuWeather)

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The National Weather Service of Jacksonville issued a freeze warning that spans from Dade City, Florida, to Douglas and Jesup, Georgia, and a freeze watch for places like Ocala and Deltona, Florida, for Monday morning. If a freeze or frost does occur, it could kill crops and sensitive vegetation that aren't accustomed to cold weather, like the orange, which is Florida's official state fruit, though temperatures should stay above 28 F in central and South Florida.

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Then, as a fresh push of cold air moves south from Canada, temperatures will take a nosedive into the -20s again on Monday and Tuesday night across northeastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota, including locations such as Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota, where average lows are between 0 and -10. The AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures could be even lower than actual temperatures, around -40 F.

AccuWeather forecasters predict this cold wave will be every bit as cold as the one last week. Chicago could have low temperatures below zero, about 20 degrees below its average in the upper teens on Tuesday night. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures for the Windy City are expected to fall into the negative teens.

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Temperatures are anticipated to remain below average across much of the Northeast for the early week, but the biggest dip for the region is forecast to occur on Wednesday as the sharply cold air in the Midwest shifts eastward, particularly Wednesday night when temperatures are expected to fall into the negative teens and even 20s across northern New England.

Lows in the Big Apple could reach into the lower teens on Wednesday night, while temperatures in the Boston area will be below 10 F. Typically, low temperatures in these areas are in the 20s in January. Areas from Madison, Wisconsin, to Portland, Maine, could have temperatures from 0 to 10 F or even below, especially in more mountainous places like State College, Pennsylvania, and Binghamton, New York, where low-temperature averages are in the upper teens.

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AccuWeather forecasters expect high energy demands from increased use of heaters this week across these areas as temperatures plummet. Even hardy northerners are recommended to use caution as the deep winter continues across the region. Low temperatures can affect everything from road salt effectiveness, car batteries, smartphones, railroad tracks, medication, musical instruments, water pipes, and most importantly, the human body. Hypothermia can take effect quickly in such cold conditions without the proper attire, and these cold waves are no different.

Temperatures are expected to stay below average across the East into the weekend, though the northern Plains could have brief periods where temperatures rise slightly. Overall, chilly conditions are set to continue for the near future.

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