An arctic cold front is being forecast to bring wind, snow and bitterly cold air to the Midwest late this week. The cold air will affect the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest Thursday but by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around Saturday, people living in the eastern half of the US will be affected by the bitterly cold weather as well.
Wednesday’s highs in much of North Dakota and northern Minnesota reached only the single digits during the afternoon hours with wind chills making it feel as though it was -20. The National Weather Service has already issued wind chill advisories for more than half of the country’s northern-most states. These advisories are likely to spread for the remainder of the week and into the weekend as the bitterly cold air pushes its way into the Midwest, parts of the South and the Northeast.
By Sunday, high temperatures won’t rise above freezing in the Midwest, Plains, Northeast and further south as far as northern Mississippi, northern Alabama and mid-Georgia. The wind chills will make it even colder which means people need to really bundle up when heading outside. The National Weather Service said that this round of cold weather will likely be the coldest of the winter thus far in the Midwest as temperatures will only be in the single digits and teens in major cities like Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago and Detroit. The first arctic plunge will make its way into the Midwest late Thursday and with strong winds being forecast, spending anytime at all outdoors can be life-threatening.
By Sunday, a second wave of cold air will move across the eastern part of the country to bring what may be the coldest weather to hit New York City in over 20 years. Daily record lows will be threatened both Sunday and Monday mornings in parts of the Northeast, Southeast and Great Lakes so says the National Weather Service. People all across the country who are living in the path of the cold approaching air are being reminded to wear extra clothing when going outdoor and to remember to keep their pets inside.
This cold weather is also a good time to remind homeowners to check their furnaces to make sure they’re in good working order. Additionally, it’s advisable to take measures to ensure that water pipes don’t freeze up during the cold spell. Exposed water pipes can be wrapped in insulation material to protect them from freezing and water can be allowed to drip from faucets to avoid pipe freeze-ups. Those homeowners who plan on being away during the cold weather should have friends or neighbors check on their homes periodically to ensure no pipes freeze, break and cause indoor flooding.