Arctic Blast Bringing Coldest Air of Season to Some in Northern Tier, But It Won't Last Long

Linda Lam
Published: February 13, 2020

A brief arctic blast is ushering in the coldest air of the season for some, serving as a reminder that it is still winter.

This potent cold front already plunged through most of the Plains and upper Midwest, bringing strong winds and ground blizzard conditions in parts of the Northern Plains on Wednesday.

With clearing skies, temperatures plunged into the teens and 20s below zero in the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa Thursday morning. Subzero lows were recorded into southern Nebraska and southern Iowa.

(MORE CURRENT MAPS: Wind Chills | Winds


Current Temperatures

Chilly Forecast

This cold front will slice through the rest of the East and South through early Friday, sending temperatures tumbling quickly behind it and bringing a short break from the above-average temperatures that have dominated much of the United States this winter.

(MORE: Winter 2019-20 Has Been Warmest on Record So Far in Lower 48

Friday morning will still be quite cold from the Mississippi Valley through the Plains, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Subzero lows may penetrate into the mid-Mississippi Valley, with teens below zero again in the upper Mississippi Valley. A few subzero lows are also possible in northern New England and upstate New York Friday morning.

Some areas could have their coldest temperatures of the season so far. This includes Minneapolis, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Albany, New York, and Burlington, Vermont. The coldest temperature recorded in St. Louis so far this winter was 19 degrees on Jan. 19; it could drop to near zero there on Friday morning.

A few daily record lows may be threatened Friday morning in the upper Mississippi Valley.


Forecast Morning Lows

Chilly conditions will continue to push toward the East Friday into Saturday.

Low temperatures on Saturday morning will be 10 to 20 degrees colder than average from the Northeast to the South. These Saturday morning lows will range from subzero cold in northern New England to the teens in the Boston-Washington, D.C., urban corridor to 20s and 30s in the Deep South.

High temperatures Friday and Saturday will hold in the 30s in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and will hold in the 40s or 50s in the Carolinas and Tennessee Valley.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast


Forecast Highs

Windy conditions will make it feel even colder.

This could lead to dangerous wind chills in many areas, so be sure to take precautions and dress appropriately.


Current Wind Chills

The National Weather Service has issued wind chill warnings in portions of north-central Iowa, where wind chill values may drop to 35 degrees below zero on Friday morning.

Wind chill advisories have also been posted by the NWS in many other parts of the upper Midwest, as well as northern New York and northern New England, where hypothermia or frostbite is a serious concern into Friday morning.


Wind Chill Alerts

Warmer Temperatures Return

This shot of cold air won't last long. A southerly flow will develop by this weekend in the central U.S. and by early next week in the East. This will allow milder conditions to return quickly.

Temperatures will rise to near average or warmer by Saturday in the Plains and Midwest. It'll be 20 to 30 degrees warmer on Saturday compared to Thursday in much of the Northern and Central Plains and parts of the Mississippi Valley.

In the East, temperatures will rebound by Sunday, and highs will again be warmer than average from the Plains to the East Coast by early next week.

Highs will range from the 20s near the Canadian border to the 50s in the mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and mid-Mississippi Valley by early next week. Temperatures will climb back into the 60s and 70s across the South.

The upper-level weather pattern heading into late February will be favorable for warmer-than-average temperatures in the Northern Plains, upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast, according to the latest 8- to 14-day temperature outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.


Long-Range Temperature Outlook

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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