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Pre-Thanksgiving Cold Wave to Plunge Into Central, Eastern US This Weekend

By By Brian Thompson, Meteorologist
November 22, 2015, 7:44:06 AM EST

Following weeks of warm weather, some of the coldest air of the season so far will impact much of the nation east of the Rockies into early next week.

The cold air will dive southward on the heels of the first snowstorm of the season for the Midwest.

“After the snow comes to an end, a surge of cold air will rush into the Midwest this weekend,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliott said.

Blast of Cold Air Across the Northeast


Afternoon high temperatures will generally range between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit below average at the height of the cold snap.

The lowest temperatures will occur where significant snow is on the ground into Sunday.


Temperatures across portions of Iowa and northern Illinois will drop to near zero Saturday night. These numbers could challenge record lows in some locations.

Chicago is forecast to drop to near 10 F Saturday night, with AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures® hovering near zero heading into Sunday morning.

“Sunday will be the first day this season in Chicago where the high temperature fails to reach 30 degrees,” Elliott said.

AccuWeather RealFeels® will be only in the teens for most of the day on Sunday.

Farther to the south, widespread freezing temperatures will grip much of the South Central states Saturday night.


The cold air crossing the mild waters of the Great Lakes will help to trigger lake-effect snow showers on Sunday.

However, unlike the long-duration lake-effect from last November that brought more than a yard of snow to some areas, the event this weekend will be short-lived and less intense.

The cold air will slide eastward by Sunday and early next week, bringing the coldest air of the season so far to the East.


“Next week will start out with temperatures no higher than the 40s along the I-95 corridor,” Elliott said. “It will feel much colder compared to this week, when temperatures reached the upper 60s."

This blast of cooler air will even reach Florida, which has experienced an extremely warm November.

Miami is in the midst of a record stretch where the temperature has not dropped below 70. The last time the temperature dropped below 70 in Miami was on May 6, more than 190 days ago.

That streak should end by Sunday night or Monday night as the cooler air settles in.

Sunday night will be a cold night all across the Southeast, where many areas will get their first frost or freeze of the season.


The threat of frost will extend as far south as southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Frost will also be a possibility in much of Texas, as far south as Houston and San Antonio.

AccuWeather Winter Center
Thanksgiving Travel Outlook
First Snowstorm of Season to Blanket Midwest

Like many of the cooler shots of air so far this season in the East, this one will be relatively short-lived.

Warmer air looks poised to regain control over the eastern half of the nation heading toward Thanksgiving. Along with mild air, dry weather is in store for holiday travelers.

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