Flash Freeze Follows Major Weekend Storm

December 11, 2010; 11:46 AM ET
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While some uncertainty remains about who will get the most snow and wintry mix from the major weekend storm, a blast of cold air, high winds, and a freeze-up will follow.

The coldest arctic blast so far this winter season, accompanied by strong winds, will first spread through the Midwest Saturday night and Sunday, then the East and South Sunday night and Monday.

Strong winds driving the cold air will make for blowing snow, tremendous lake effect, and icy travel in the Midwest immediately following the storm right into the first part of next week.

Even after the storm departs, local blizzard conditions may linger or develop for the first time this season in areas that have been missed from the Great Lakes into the Ohio Valley and central Appalachians.

The freeze-up can occur suddenly in some locations. Temperatures may plunge 10 to 20 degrees in one hour. This may not allow all road surfaces to dry off in time before ice can form. If you are on the road at this time, you can get into trouble.

Sudden temperature drops are possible not only in the wake of the arctic cold front, but also during any snow squall that wanders through in its wake.

The temperature plunge will not be affected by the time of day. Most people expect a temperature rebound during the day, but with an arctic blast of this sort, temperatures may fall even in the middle of the day in some areas.

Temperatures could get so low that inexpensive ice-melting compounds may not work in the Midwest and Appalachians.

We are issuing a frozen car door alert at this point!

More seriously, even in areas that get rain from the storm, there is a risk of wet road surfaces turning icy and puddles freezing in parking lots.

If you must drive or walk, do so defensively.


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