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As forecast, warmth has peaked across the East this weekend, but a change is on the way. Waves of cold air with the potential of major arctic outbreaks may follow beginning this week and continuing beyond.
Temperatures have already crashed in the northern Plains and as far east as Chicago and Indianapolis.
Following a batch of rain associated with an advancing cold front, this colder air will reach Detroit and Cincinnati on Monday. Cooler air will return to Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
This story written by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards talks about the dramatic 15 to 30 degree temperature drop expected from the Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
In the South, the chilly air has returned to Dallas and it will move on to Nashville and Jackson, Miss., Monday. Cooler air will even invade Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta on Tuesday.
What About the Brutal Cold?
Colder air will continue to spread through the West through Monday while frigid air has already set up for the next few days over the northern Plains.
That may not be the end of the cold outbreaks for the U.S., however.
Another sizable batch of Arctic air is projected to take aim from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast later next week.
Additional waves of Arctic air may continue later in the month into February from portions of the Plains to the East with the potential for the coldest weather in years for northern areas as the pattern gets rolling.
How much progress these cold presses make into the South are uncertain at this point.
Such outbreaks of arctic air would produce significant lake-effect snow events and could provide the cold ingredients necessary for more general snowfall, provided the pattern does not become so bold as to drive away Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic coast storms.
The bottom line is while the expansion of warmth will continue through the weekend in the East and will bounce back next week for a time in parts of the Plains and East, the lasting memory of the season may be remembered for a return to more traditional winter conditions with significant outbreaks of cold air in much of the same area.
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