March roars 'in like a lion' with brutal Midwest, Northeast cold wave this week

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
March 04, 2019, 10:37:00 AM EST

Arctic air will continue to plunge from the Midwest to the Northeast in the wake of the weekend snowstorm, producing the coldest March weather since 2014 across the North Central states.

While warmups have been rare across the northern half of the nation this winter, temperatures are expected to plummet even lower during the first week of the month.

"At least the first half of the expression 'In like a lion, out like a lamb' will prove true this March," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards said.

As a winter storm streaks across the Northeast into Monday, frigid air currently bottled up in Canada will expand across the United States in its wake.

The Arctic blast has already plunged across the Plains, causing the weekend to end on a shivering note in Minneapolis and Chicago.

"Early Monday morning, temperatures in Chicago dropped below zero again for the first time since January," according to Edwards.

Monday NC Mar 3

Monday will start with subzero temperatures in areas as far south as Denver, Colorado, and Kansas City, Missouri.

This will be the coldest morning of the season so far in these areas, with temperatures plummeting below the single-digit readings from Feb. 8.

"Monday morning will bring the second consecutive day of temperatures bottoming out at around 10 below zero in Minneapolis," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

"For Minneapolis and many other communities in the North Central states, this will be the harshest March cold weather outbreak since 2014," she added.

march cold 3/2am

Brisk winds will hold AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures below zero even during the day across most of the North Central states on Monday.

"Despite the calendar reading early March, residents will have to bundle up to protect themselves against frostbite and prepare for vehicles to have trouble starting," according to Pydynowski.

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The effectiveness of ice-melting compounds will be greatly reduced during the nighttime and early-morning hours in the wake of the storm. All efforts should be made to remove the snow as fast as possible in the storm's wake for property owners and city, township and state crews.

"Unfortunately, this cold spell isn't going to be balanced out by a quick warmup," Edwards said. "Instead, temperatures are going to stay well below average for much of the week."

RFs Mar 3

Despite an average high temperature in the mid-30s, temperatures in Minneapolis will struggle to exceed the teens through Thursday. It may take until Friday for temperatures to climb back above freezing in Chicago.

While the core of the cold will be centered in the Midwest, this week will also feel more like winter in the Northeast as temperatures trend progressively downward Monday into Wednesday.

Residents of Buffalo and Binghamton, New York, and much of northern New England can anticipate waking up to single-digit lows on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday is expected to be the coldest day of the week in the Northeast. The northern and western suburbs of Philadelphia, New York City and Boston will join the rest of the interior Northeast in enduring early-morning lows in the single digits.

Temperatures will recover to only the teens and 20s throughout the region during the day.

Midweek Mar 3

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how cold it will become in your area.

Gusty winds will not be present every day it is cold in the Northeast.

"While the lack of wind will limit the threat for frostbite, it will still be important to cover as much exposed skin as possible when spending time outside in dangerously cold weather," Edwards said.

A brisk wind, however, is expected to return at midweek and create brutally lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.

By the second week of March, temperatures more typical of this time of the year are in store as a west-to-east flow of air will set up across the United States, which will keep the coldest air locked up over Canada most days.

Milder pattern Mar 3

"That does not necessarily mean the end of opportunities for snow, as the upper levels of the atmosphere are typically cold enough for the white stuff, even though temperatures near the ground may be above freezing," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

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