Just as another winter storm moves out of the area, the temperatures will once again plunge in the central and eastern United States. This is right on the heels of two surges of frigid air that hit these areas last week on Monday, causing record lows and the coldest temperatures in years for some cities.
As we move into the last portion of this week, dozens of record low temperatures could be shattered. Lows in the single digits (above and below zero) could move all the way into parts of the South. The last blast of cold air will make its way into the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, and from there it will move into the South and spread eastward by the end of the week.
The temperatures will be dependent upon just how much snow is left over from this system. Areas that see a lot of snowfall are much more likely to experience colder temperatures this week, as snow cover loses energy to outer space quite quickly. When the skies are clear, this can result in a very quick drop in temperatures.
On Tuesday, the highs will be about 10 to 20 degrees below average through most of the central and eastern United States. The next swath of freezing air will move southward and into the Upper Midwest.
As we move into Wednesday, lows will be in the teens and 20s below zero in northern Minnesota and some areas in North Dakota. Single-digit lows are even possible as far south as Kentucky and Missouri. In the Midwest, the temperatures are expected to drop to 30 degrees below average, with highs in the single digits and teens as well. In the Southern region, the temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees below average.
Thursday will be one of the coldest days this week, and record lows will be threatened in dozens of cities in the South, Midwest, and East. If Nashville falls below zero on Thursday morning, it will be the latest in the season with a temperature of zero degrees or lower in the city since the records began in 1871. Anywhere east of the Mississippi river will experience temperatures that are up to 30 degrees below average.
Moving into Friday, the record lows will be threatened once again in more than 70 cities along the East coast, from New England to Florida. Subzero or single digit lows can be expected in the Upper Midwest through the Northeast, and single digits are possible into North Carolina and even Tennessee. If Washington D.C experiences a low of 4 degrees or colder, it will be the coldest temperature recorded there since 1994. If the low reaches zero or lower, it would be one of the eight times on record where this has happened there in February. As for the highs on Friday, 10 to 25 degrees below average will be the trend from Maine to Florida.
As we make our way into the weekend, below-average temperatures will continue on Saturday for the Midwest and Northeast. In the Northeast, more than a dozen daily record lows could be shattered.