It’s been cold since the end of December across the Eastern US, but an even colder air mass, likely the coldest one so far this season, is beginning to move into the Northeast and Southeast starting this Friday and continuing into the weekend. This air mass originates all the way from near the North Pole, so it will certainly be a cold one. Temperatures this weekend will break records, and will likely be as much as 50 degrees below average in the Northeast. The cold air won’t be as severe in the South, but temperatures will still be up to 30 degrees below average.

White Circles Indicate Where Record Cold High Temperatures are Expected

The cold air will intrude behind the major winter storm that slammed the Northeast on Thursday. High temperatures this Friday will be in the single-digits for most locations in the Northeast. Some areas in upstate New York will even remain below 0 degrees throughout the entire day. Cities like New York, Boston, and Washington (DC) will also struggle to get out of the teens today. Widespread record cold high temperatures will be broken. Wind chills will make it feel even worse, down to sub-zero for most areas due to the whipping winds gusting up to 40 mph. In the Southeast, highs will be below freezing, from northern Arkansas through upstate South Carolina and into areas to the north. In the deep south, highs will mainly be in the 30’s and 40’s, although warmer air will begin to intrude from the west into Louisiana. In Florida, the northern half will only be in the 40’s and 50’s, while South Florida deals with the 60’s.

The cold will become even more intense on Saturday for the Northeast, with more record-cold highs expected to be broken. High temperatures for much of the Northeast will only be in the single-digits, and you can bet morning temperatures will be even colder than that. In the Mid-Atlantic, it will be in the teens for most locations. To the north in upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and western Maine, temperatures will remain below zero during the peak of the day. In the South, temperatures will begin to warm up a little bit along the Gulf Coast, but otherwise they will remain very similar as they are forecast to be on Saturday.

Then on Sunday, the cold air will peak in the Northeast in the morning. Dozens of record lows will likely be broken due to widespread sub-zero temperatures. Some locations may be as cold as -30 degrees near the Canadian border! Temperatures will then moderate during the day, with the teens and 20’s becoming more commonplace than the single-digits. All of the Northeast will finally have highs above zero on Sunday afternoon. In the Southeast, temperatures will also climb with highs in the 60’s along the Gulf Coast and in the 40’s and 50’s inland, which is still up to 10 degrees below average.

By the end of next week, however, a pattern change will likely take place, which will lead to milder times overall for the second half of January. We’ll have details on this warm up in the coming days.


Jackson is Head of Content and Social Media at WeatherOptics. He is currently a student at the University of Miami, studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism. Dill produces forecast articles for the website and helps to manage the content schedule. He has also led the growth of WeatherOptics’ social media accounts, working to keep them aligned with the company’s evolving vision.

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