Deep Freeze Gripping Midwest, Aiming for Northeast

January 21, 2011; 5:25 AM ET
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The coldest air of the winter so far has arrived over the northern Plains and Midwest and will cause temperatures to plummet in the Northeast in the wake of today's disruptive snowstorm.

The wave of arctic air may lead to frozen pipes in some households and eventually broken water mains in some communities.

Furnaces and heaters will be working hard in coming days, and you will get the bill for it later in the month.

Actual temperatures may do no better than the single digits for highs today in Chicago and Milwaukee.

There is plenty more cold coming.'s Long Range Weather Pattern Expert Joe Bastardi said, "The period from January 20 to February 10 will bring the coldest weather since 2007 during the same period." Photo by

The Great Lakes will modify the air slightly so that temperatures will manage to climb into the teens around Detroit today through the weekend.

However, northern New England will make up for its lack of nasty cold so far this winter. Temperatures at Burlington, Vt., and Caribou, Maine, will struggle to reach zero degrees for a high Sunday.

Even a swath from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley, southern New England and northern mid-Atlantic will have episodes of nasty cold.

From St. Louis to Cincinnati, the coldest day will be today, with highs mainly in the teens, followed by a modest recovery Saturday and Sunday.

Over the central Appalachians from Pittsburgh to Scranton, Pa. and Binghamton, N.Y., both days of the weekend will be bitterly cold with highs in the single digits and teens, depending on your elevation.

For coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast from Baltimore/Washington to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, expect three days of January's finest cold. Highs will range from the teens in the north to the 20s in the south.

The coldest days and nights will occur with relatively light wind. However, as the cold air first sweeps in from west to east, RealFeel® temperatures will be 15 to 30 degrees lower than the actual temperature. After the arctic cold has settled in, even a slight breeze will be painful.

By the way, as cold as it will be by day, this air mass will produce temperatures of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit from the Upper Midwest to northern New England at night. A number of locations may even get colder than that under clear skies and calm conditions.

Temperatures in International Falls, Minn., plummeted to minus 44 degrees early this morning. That broke the day's record low of minus 41 degrees from 1954.

The pattern will erase the above-normal temperatures experienced in northern New England since December (Caribou, Maine, was +9.4 degrees F above normal since Dec. 1., while Burlington, Vt., was +0.2 degrees and Portsmouth, N.H., was +1.8 degrees for the same period).


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