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Boreal Community Media

2nd coldest blast of Arctic air this winter to shock central US, revive winter in East

Feb 08, 2019 07:38AM ● By Editor

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist - February 8, 2019

A blast of Arctic air, second in magnitude only to that of late January, will extend from the northern Plains through the rest of the central United States on Friday and spill over into the East during Friday night.

Overall, temperatures will be 15-25 degrees Fahrenheit higher in the core of this blast compared to the blast from late January. However, this dose of Arctic air will still pack a punch and create dangerous and even life-threatening conditions for a time. Like the last big blast, the worst conditions will be over the North Central states.

Max RealFeel Friday North Central 

This graphic depicts maximum AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures. Conditions will be significantly colder at the start of the daylight hours.

The air is riding on the heels of a storm with heavy snow over the Upper Midwest and severe thunderstorms and flooding over the Mississippi and Ohio valleys on Thursday. As the storm pivots into southern Canada, the gates of the Arctic will be wide open to allow the cold air to spread to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

On Thursday morning, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures ranged from minus 50 to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit from Montana to the Dakotas. Actual temperatures in this same zone ranged from minus 40 to minus 5. Subzero RealFeel Temperatures dipped as far south as the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.

Similar to that of the early January outbreak, the core of the frigid air will settle over the North Central states and will undergo significant moderation as it spills toward the Gulf coast and across the Appalachians and East Coast. A lack of snowcover will assist with the moderation.

However, following mild conditions in the Northeast and record-challenging warmth in the Southeast, people will be in for a shock from Friday morning versus Saturday morning.

Max RealFeel Saturday NC NE 

This graphic depicts maximum AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures. Conditions will be significantly colder at the start of the daylight hours.

From the highest point this week to the lowest point this weekend, temperatures will plunge 25-50 degrees. Factoring in the sunshine and moisture that accompanied the warmth as well as the dryness and gusty winds associated with the Arctic air, it will feel 50-70 degrees colder, which will almost be in the same ballpark as the shock from the last blast in the East.

Car doors may freeze shut and any wet areas or standing water will freeze solid. However, the cold weather and deep freeze will curtail the runoff and flooding that has been ongoing during recent days. Crews may need to treat some roads, sidewalks and parking lots with ice melting or anti-skid materials.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how cold it will get at your location.

"The return of cold air and the way it spreads out and becomes wedged in part of the Northeast due to progressively stronger areas of high pressure may pave the way for significant ice and snow in the coming weeks," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

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