All Weather News

Dangerously Cold Air Plunges South, Wind Chill Advisories Issued as Far as South Florida

7 Jan 2015, 11:51 am

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A huge Arctic cold front is pushing bitterly cold air across the eastern two-thirds of the country, sending many areas in the the sub-zero range. This is some of the coldest air in the region, since the early 2014 “polar vortex” that shattered 20-year-old temperature records.

Luckily, this go around, the air won’t be quite as cold, but it could still be quite dangerous.

But, with the recent arrival of the polar air, some locations in Minnesota were reporting mind-boggling wind chills. A tweet from the National Weather Service in Duluth, Minn. says a wind chill of -54 degrees was recorded at Grand Marais Airport, Minn. around 7 a.m. local time Wednesday morning. Numerous other locations, in Minnesota and Wisconsin, reported wind chills in the -50 to -35 range.

By midday Wednesday, wind chills were still hovering in the -30 to -20 range and the ambient air temperature was still between -10 and -5 for a wide swath of the Upper Midwest. Afternoon highs will only flirt with zero degrees in the region.

Overnight, temperatures will once more plunge into negative territory. Couple the abysmal cold with gusty winds and a recipe for dangerous wind chills develops, once more. Wind chill values are likely to be in the -40 to -30 range through the overnight hours — especially from Chicago northward.

The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions won’t be the only place looking at very cold temperatures; many parts of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and South are looking at bitterly cold temperatures as well.

As the front pushes south and east, the very cold air will continue to into the Deep South and Mid-Atlantic. Sub-zero low temperatures are possible as far south as northern Kentucky, by early Thursday. And wind chills will make it feel even colder. Cities like Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C. will all dip into the the teens overnight, but the wind could make it feel as cold as -3.

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Some school systems in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia have decided to close or delay due to the abnormally cold weather and dangerous wind chills.

Even the Sunshine State, known for it’s mild and pleasant winters, won’t escape this cold weather outbreak. Florida’s Panhandle is headed for temperatures in the upper teens and lower 20s. Normally, this time of year, lows are in the upper 30s and lower 40s. Freezing temperatures could push as far south as the northern Tampa suburbs and windchill advisories have been issued as far south as just north of Fort Meyers.

The moral of the story: If you live in the eastern the-thirds of the country, bundle-up it’s going to be a bitterly cold night.

WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the extreme cold and we’ll bring you updates on-air and online.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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