A conducive weather pattern is shaping up to bring below average temperatures and fall to perhaps winter-like air to most of the eastern US beginning late-week. Temperatures will be as much as 40 degrees below average in the southern Plains Wednesday and Thursday before the cooler air expands to infiltrate much of the East with temperatures generally between 5 and 10 degrees below normal.

This Wednesday, millions woke up to frost and freeze alerts across parts of the Midwest and Northeast due to temperatures near or below freezing, marking an end to the growing season for the year. Low temperatures this morning even got down to the teens in the a few locations of the Great Lakes region. Temperatures will climb somewhat this afternoon, ranging from the 30s to 50s in the Midwest and interior Northeast. Near the coast, the warmer ocean waters will keep it warmer into the 60s. What’s interesting is that there will be a strip of warmer temperatures in the 60s and 70s affecting much of the Plains and into much of the Southeast before temperatures significantly drop back off to the 40s and 50s in Texas thanks to the trough of low pressure overhead. Most locations in Texas are forecast to experience record low maximum temperatures. The only states that will continue to feel the warmth in the East will be South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Highs will be up to 15 degrees warmer than normal.

On Thursday, the cold air will continue to dominate the southern Plains with more record cold high temperatures likely to be broken. Meanwhile across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, warmer air will briefly surge in from the west, allowing for temperatures to be up to 20 degrees above normal, which translates to highs in the 60s and 70s. Elsewhere across the East, it will be on the chilly side with temperatures below average, ranging from the 30s, 40s, and 50s in the Northeast and lower Midwest to the 60s and 70s in the Southeast. Florida will remain toasty into the 80s and 90s.

By Friday, the significant cold will finally exit the southern Plains but temperatures will still remain up to 25 degrees below average. At least it’s not winter, so that means actual high temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s. Temperatures will be quite similar across the rest of the eastern US with the exception of the central Gulf Coast and Florida. Conditions will also be slightly above average in the upper Midwest once again.

This weekend, a new push of cooler temperatures will invade the US with everyone, including much of Florida, experiencing temperatures of up to 20 degrees below average. The most extreme of the temperatures relative to average will be found in the Ohio River Valley and interior Northeast. Highs will be in the 40s and 50s, which may be record-breaking.

Looking ahead in the long-range, warmer temperatures should return to much of the East, especially the central US, by mid-next week as a ridge of high pressure builds over the region in response to a trough digging into the West Coast.


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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