Polar Vortex To Invade Midwest, Wind Chills May Exceed 50 Below Zero
29 January, 2019, 05:28 | Author: Sidney Guerrero
The biggest issue will be the wind chill. "Brutal cold is coming".
A severe outbreak of cold air will plague a large part of the nation next week - the coldest the USA has endured in many years.
The cold snap, which the NWS has described as potentially "unprecedented", "brutal" and "life-threatening", is expected to touch down in the United States in the middle of next week, affecting almost 200 million people from the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions to the eastern seaboard, all the way down to Florida.
At 5:45 a.m., the temperature was minus 2 at Chicago Midway Airport, the weather service reported.
While low temperatures on their own don't necessarily complicate travel plans, the combination of freezing cold, snow, and interruptions related to the ongoing government shutdown could make next week a bad time to catch a flight or drive cross-country.
Then the mercury will take a nose dive for the next few days.
A surge of arctic air is about to bring parts of the Midwest the coldest temperatures in years by the middle of this week, as part of the polar vortex is set to blast the region with dangerously cold temperatures. On Monday, wind chills will dip to minus 20, while it'll feel like minus 30 or minus 40 from Des Moines, Iowa, to Fargo, North Dakota, on Tuesday.
Although a blast of Arctic air this week has made for chilly temperatures in portions of the midwestern and northeastern USA, meteorologists are warning the worst is yet to come.
Heavy snow and gusting winds have also created blizzard-like conditions in Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern IL and other Midwestern states where officials have also closed schools, courthouses and businesses. By next week, subzero cold lows may extend through much of the Ohio Valley into the interior Northeast.
Meteorologists are already predicting record-setting daytime temperatures for cities like Chicago, where the thermometer could hit minus 16 for just the third time in a century next Wednesday. Minneapolis, Minn., last dropped to 25 below on December 25, 1996, and Milwaukee, Wis., was last 15 below on January 5, 1999.
And strong winds will add to brutal conditions.
"Wind chills this low can produce frost on exposed skin within 10 minutes", the agency said.
The Midwest can expect most snow to fall Sunday night through Monday night.
There will be primarily rain in New York City with snow up to the northwest.
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