Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis Snow Precedes Dangerous ColdBitter cold on its way to the heartland
Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Chicago saw as much as a foot of snow or more was forecast for some areas in the Northeast overnight Thursday into Friday. The temperatures are now expected to plummet, with some areas seeing highs just above zero, according to the National Weather Service. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
The Midwest is facing yet another snowstorm for the second half of the weekend with dangerously cold air to follow. As the bitterly cold air charges in, a flash freeze and blizzard conditions could develop in some areas.
Snow will intensity across the lower Great Lakes and mid-Mississippi Valley through Sunday, impacting Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.
The storm will also bring snow and slippery travel to much of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys Sunday through Sunday night, while ice concerns arise in the Northeast.
The heaviest snow is forecast to fall from St. Louis to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and London, Ontario, where a half a foot or more of snow could fall.
Cities that could be hit by a sudden period of blinding snow, plunging temperatures and a quick freeze include Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville and Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Charleston and Morgantown, W.Va.; Pittsburgh and Bradford, Pa.; Jamestown and Rochester, N.Y.; and Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. Travel along I-40, I-64 and I-65 could be difficult Sunday night.
As lake-effect blends in with the general storm, some bands of intense snowfall are likely.
According to Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler, "Blizzard conditions may develop from eastern Ohio to West Virginia, western Maryland, western Pennsylvania Sunday night and Monday, and in western New York Monday into Tuesday."
Whiteout conditions are possible in these areas with strong winds, plunging temperatures and heavy snowfall rates. The worst conditions are likely in New York state, just south of Buffalo and in the Tug Hill region, south of Watertown.
"Major interstate highways including I-79, I-80, I-81, I-90 and Route 219 could close down for a time due to the intense conditions Monday into Tuesday," Mohler added.
Some people could be caught off guard and stranded by the storm.
A dangerous cold wave will blast in its wake. The new wave of frigid air will reach the I-95 Northeast on Monday.
Temperatures in Chicago are not expected to exceed 10 below zero on Monday with Detroit experiencing afternoon highs just above zero Monday and Tuesday.
The last time Chicago was this cold was during early February of 1996, where temperatures remained below zero around the clock for a couple of days.
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Lows Monday night in Elmira, N.Y., and Pittsburgh will drop well below zero with highs near to just above zero Tuesday.
AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures will average 10 to 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature.
January typically bring the lowest average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. Combined with less sunlight and a growing snowpack, the first month of the year can bring some downright frigid air. However, occasional bouts of frigid air with some of the coldest nighttime lows can occur well into February.
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