Deep freeze to invade central, eastern US this week

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 13, 2016, 7:02:16 AM EST

    Piercing cold will send temperatures tumbling to dangerous levels for some across the central and eastern United States this week.

    The impending cold shot threatens to be the most far-reaching and bone-chilling blast so far this season.

    “After the first true cold shot of the year this past week, much of the northern Plains can expect a more formidable shot of arctic air again this upcoming week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said.

    The cold will be severe enough to bring the risk of frostbite or hypothermia to those spending time outdoors without proper clothing.

    Temperatures from the northern and central Plains to much of the Midwest are likely to be 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit lower, on average, when compared to levels from last week.

    Deep freeze US

    Fargo, North Dakota; Minneapolis; Chicago; and Madison, Wisconsin; are a handful of the cities that will bear the brunt of the frigid conditions during the middle days of the week.

    High temperatures will be in the single digits to slightly below zero for multiple days from the Dakotas through Minnesota and Wisconsin. Highs during this past week’s cold outbreak were in the teens and lower 20s in these same areas.

    High temperatures will be within a few degrees of zero for a day or two in Minneapolis. At night, temperatures will dip below zero in Chicago and well below zero in Minneapolis.

    “Temperatures this low are 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below average,” Vido said.

    12.13 RealFeels

    “This will be dangerous early-season cold with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures near or below zero during the day,” Vido said. “At night, RealFeel Temperatures will plummet more than 10 degrees below zero throughout the region."

    The core of the cold will grip the North Central states on Tuesday and Wednesday, before punching across the Northeast, including the Interstate 95 corridor on Thursday.

    Widespread highs in the teens are in store across the interior Northeast on Thursday, while the freezing mark may not be reached from Boston to Washington, D.C.

    The air may deliver some of the lowest temperatures for any December in many years.

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    "In the Midwest and Northeast, some areas could experience their lowest December temperatures of this century," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

    Abrams pointed out that while this air will probably not break any low temperature records, most places have set only record highs during December since 2000.

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    "For many in the Midwest and Northeast, this will be quite a painfully cold December experience," Abrams said.

    Residents should ensure pets have proper shelter and limit their furry friends' exposure outdoors. Vehicles may need to be inspected for problems that can arise during extreme cold, and residents should ensure that an emergency preparedness kit is handy in case of a breakdown on the highway.

    Some of the chill, while not as extreme, will reach part of the South.

    On Thursday, temperatures from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Nashville and Atlanta will be a few degrees lower when compared to the lowest point reached this past week.

    However, the core of the cold air will be directed eastward, rather than push deep into the South, such as the Gulf Coast states. As a result, temperatures are not likely to reach the freezing mark near the Gulf coast, unlike last week.

    Another cold blast may follow across the northern tier of the country during the third week of December, prior to a warming trend for much of the Central and Eastern states prior to Christmas.

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