Polar Plunge to Continue Into Wednesday

By , Senior Meteorologist
January 30, 2014; 2:30 AM ET
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A blast of frigid air will grip most of the eastern half of the United States into midweek.

The impending polar plunge will rival the frigid days from earlier this January for the coldest daytime highs and nighttime lows so far this winter in parts of the Midwest and interior Northeast.

The arctic air first plunged into the Upper Midwest, northern Plains and northern Rockies on Sunday and continued to press to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts on Tuesday.

The magnitude of this cold blast will be enough to produce a far-reaching threat of frostbite, hypothermia, frozen pipes and water main breaks.

Care should also be taken to ensure that livestock and other animals housed outdoors have adequate shelter.

Especially across the Midwest and Northeast, officials may decide to cancel or delay school due to the extreme cold. Some vehicles may struggle or fail to start.

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While highs will be held to the 30s southward to the I-10 corridor, the Midwest and Northeast will experience the harshest conditions.

Temperatures plunged below zero Tuesday morning from central Montana to northern Maine, southward to eastern Colorado, areas along the Ohio River and into the mountains of Pennsylvania, western Maryland and West Virginia.

Across much of the Midwest and the interior Northeast, high temperatures were in the single digits and teens on Tuesday with some areas over the northern tier states remaining below zero.

Temperatures are forecast to rebound over portions of the northern Plains and the Midwest on Wednesday, but they will remain at frigid levels in much of the Northeast and the interior South.

Biting winds will usher in frigid air, creating dramatically lower AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures.

RealFeel® temperatures will be extremely dangerous across eastern North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On Sunday night, RealFeel® temperatures dipped to 50 below zero in the town of Wadena, Minn.

Frostbite can develop in a matter of minutes on exposed skin during such intense cold.

Along the leading edge of the invading cold air, an Alberta Clipper spread a few inches of snow from parts of the southern Appalachians to northern New England on Monday.

The invading cold and a developing storm began spreading a swath of snow and ice across the I-10 and I-95 corridors in the South on Tuesday and will continue into Wednesday.

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