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    Bitter Cold to Grip U.S. through Mid-January

    By By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist
    January 06, 2011, 12:49:51 AM EST

    Rounds of bitterly cold air invading the country through next week will have people shivering and cranking up their thermostats from coast to coast.

    In fact, the caliber of the cold gripping certain parts of the country over the next couple of weeks has AccuWeather.com Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi concerned that this month, for the nation as a whole, may be the coldest January since 1985.

    "The major cold that will be centered over the northern Plains Jan. 10-20, plus the cold [in the] West the first two weeks of the month, will make this January the coldest coast to coast, rather than regional, since the 1980s," Bastardi said in his blog Sunday.


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    Bitter cold has already invaded the northern Plains and will continue to grip the region through much of next week. Highs will largely remain in the single digits or teens across this region, while nighttime lows will dip below zero, occasionally or frequently depending on location.

    Minneapolis, Minn., Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo, N.D., are included in this zone with gusty winds making it feel even more frigid.

    People in the East have also experienced a dramatic cooldown following an unusually mild weekend. The region will gradually turn colder throughout the week with a more significant cold snap on the way Friday into the weekend.

    In parts of the Northeast, the cold snap may be preceded by another snowstorm.


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    Bastardi says this cold snap will be the coldest of the month for the Southeast, which just endured a record cold December. The good news is that he expects January not to be as cold as December in this region.

    In the Northeast, highs will be below freezing in most places this weekend, while harsh winds send AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures dropping into the single digits or even below zero at times. This includes New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh and Buffalo, N.Y.

    Temperatures are expected to remain below normal across much of the northern Plains and East next week.

    The West has also had a cold start to January with many record cold temperatures set from California and Arizona to Oregon, Idaho and Montana since Jan. 1.

    The cold will linger in the West over the next couple of days with a reinforcing shot of cold air on the way to the Northwest next week.

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