Record Cold in the Midwest, Northeast

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
May 15, 2013; 7:30 AM ET
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Play video For the latest expert analysis on the chill in the East, click on the video above.

It felt more like late March than mid-May across the Midwest and the interior mid-Atlantic on Sunday and Monday as cold Canadian air penetrated the United States once again this spring.

This cold snap began early on Saturday afternoon when a cold front pushed through the Great Lakes. Cold air filtered in behind this front and was accompanied by rain and snow showers that lasted into Sunday morning across Michigan and Wisconsin.

While temperatures fell to below 40 as far south as Arkansas and as far east as New York, snow through Sunday morning accumulated up to 5.5 inches in Sault Ste Marie, Mich.

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These cold temperatures pushed eastward on Mother's Day with highs in the Ohio Valley running 15 degrees below normal. High temperatures ran as cold as 10 degrees below normal around this area from Minnesota through Mississippi and up into Pennsylvania.

With a mainly clear sky and low winds on Sunday night, record lows were set from Illinois to Tennessee and into Virginia with another night of sub-40 temperatures.

Sampling of Record Lows Set Monday Morning

Location
New Record Low
(Degrees F)
Old Record Low
(Degrees F)/Year
South Bend, Ind.
30
tied/1996
Green Bay, Wis.
30
tied/1997
Rhinelander, Wis.
19
25/1923
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
34
34/1997
Detroit, Mich.
30
tied/1971
Marquette, Mich.
25
tied/1966

Kenton, Mich., dropped as low as 17 degrees F on Monday morning, while Silver Bay, Minn., plummeted to 18 degrees F on Monday morning.

This record-challenging cold continued through Tuesday with the coldest air being centered over central Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.

Colder Weather Migrates East Tuesday Morning

Location
New Record Low
(Degrees F)
Old Record Low
(Degrees F)/Year
Youngstown, Ohio
28
29/1994
Erie, Pa.
34
35/1996
Wilmington, Del.
36
tied/1996
Charlotte, N.C.
41
tied/1917
Raleigh, N.C.
39
43/1997
Jacksonville, Fla.
47
51/1982

With temperatures forecast to dip to or below freezing both on Monday and Monday night, farmers and homeowners were forced to take extra precautions to ensure that their plants do not get harmed from the freezing temperatures.

The good news is that relief from these unseasonably cold temperatures is on the way.

A warm front lifted across the central Plains on Tuesday, allowing warmer air to surge in. Places that saw temperatures below freezing over the weekend saw temperatures go above 90 and even 100 in some places.

With this front taking aim at the Northeast on Wednesday, the cold temperatures will be forced to retreat into New England.

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