Severe cold snap to follow winter storm in central US

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Frigid weather, combined with melting snow in the center of the country, could create dangerous conditions. File photo by Bill Greenblatt / UPI | License photo

January 1 (UPI) –

An explosion of freezing air will continue to sweep southeast over the central United States following a winter storm until the end of this weekend, and AccuWeather meteorologists say it will feel 60, 70 and even 80 degrees Fahrenheit lower compared to the past few weeks. .

Cold air, appropriate for the dead of winter, will bring the risk of frostbite and hypothermia for those who spend time outdoors and are not properly dressed.

Temperatures spiked into the 1980s in parts of Georgia on Saturday morning, as readings of 10 to 30 degrees below zero gripped North Dakota with an extreme temperature range of up to 110 degrees.

This map shows AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures at 10 a.m. CST on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

Unlike much of last month, very cold air was pushing south across the plains on Saturday and is expected to sweep eastward over parts of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, as well as over the West Indies region. Great Lakes at the start of the new week. .

Chicago finished December with average temperatures 7.5 degrees above normal of 31.5 degrees and in sixth place on the list of all hot December weather dating back to the mid-1800s. As cold air sets in, temperatures will drop 10 to 20 degrees below average.

After temperatures peaked in the 60s F in many parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Friday, temperatures had dropped to teenagers and single digits on New Years Day.

In Wichita, Kansas, where temperatures hovered in the 60s by late Friday afternoon but crashed into the 20s and teens in just over 12 hours on Saturday morning with AccuWeather RealFeel temperatures ® approaching 10 below zero.

After highs in the 70s and 80s F on Friday, temperatures will dip to as low as 40 degrees over much of Texas and Louisiana this weekend.

The change will come as a shock after Oklahoma City’s hottest December on record, topping 48.7 degrees in 1965. As of December 2021, the average was 50.7 degrees.

“The flash frost had turned the roads and sidewalks into an ice rink around Wichita, Kansas on Saturday morning,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bauer, adding that people should be prepared for similar conditions where precipitation is occurring. with the storm in parts of the central states.

An equally large drop in temperature and frost is expected to spread across the central Mississippi Valley and Midwest following a storm bringing heavy snowfall, winter mixing and torrential downpours.

Due to hot ground conditions in parts of northern Missouri, Iowa, southern parts of Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as northern parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio , the snow that manages to fall from the storm will initially melt over the city. streets, to freeze over as the temperature drop associated with arctic air sweeps east.

It will be a major reality check of how nasty January can be after benign temperatures across much of the Midwest in December, said Brett Anderson, senior weatherman at AccuWeather.

Around Chicago and many other cities in parts of the Central Plains and Great Lakes region, where enough snow for shoveling and plowing is in store for the storm through Saturday night, areas of slush and standing water will freeze in the wake of the storm.

Road crews and owners are urged to remove snow quickly and treat surfaces, otherwise the ice that forms will be extremely difficult to remove.

People returning home from their Sunday vacation or returning to work and school on Monday mornings from parts of Kansas and Nebraska to Michigan and northern Ohio should be prepared for areas of ice. and packed snow.

“For much of the Central Plains and Midwest, the weather Sunday through Monday will represent the coldest air of the season so far,” Anderson said.

While a significant drop in temperature occurred during the first week or so of December and respectable cold set in over parts of the north-central states before the storm, this new batch of arctic air will exceed this level, but by a substantial margin.

Temperatures are forecast to hit a low of about 5 degrees below zero in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday morning, nearly 15 degrees cooler than the last days of December.

Further east, a dip in the lower numbers is in store for Chicago on Monday morning, which is expected to rise about 10 degrees above the previous low mark of 13 on Dec. 7.

Much colder air is also expected to settle in many areas targeted by extreme weather this weekend as well and a weak trailing storm may even bring a little snow to parts of Tennessee and Kentucky on Sunday.

While the milder Pacific air is expected to sweep eastward by mid-week and relieve parts of the northern and central plains of their arctic air, the cold air may be more reluctant to move further east. over the Midwest and the south central states.

Temperatures will reach the 1940s over parts of the northern and central plains on Monday and Tuesday, while temperatures struggle to reach the mid-1930s around Chicago on Tuesday.

Another blast of cold air will follow through the middle and end of the week and this could set the stage for a patch of snow that includes parts of the Central Plains and Valleys of Tennessee and Ohio towards the end of the week as a storm swings out of the Rockies.

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