Coldest Air of the Season Plunging into the Plains, Midwest, South and Northeast and Will Linger Well into Next Week

Linda Lam
Published: November 10, 2018

A shivering weather pattern will spread the coldest temperatures so far this fall across the Plains, Midwest, South and East through this weekend and much of next week.

The weather pattern into mid-November will feature an overall southward plunge of the jet stream across the central and eastern states. This will allow a pipeline of arctic air to sweep southward from Canada behind a couple of cold fronts.

Current Temperatures

Early Saturday temperatures dropped into the single digits and teens as far south as western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Dallas saw its first freeze Saturday morning, the earliest freeze here since 1993.

Subzero wind chills were reported from northern Montana into much of North Dakota and South Dakota – including Great Falls, Montana, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Rapid City, South Dakota early Friday.

Cold Highlights

Two blasts of cold air will be making their way through the northern U.S. into early next week.

The first of those two cold blasts has already resulted in daily record cold high temperatures on Friday, including Rochester, Minnesota (23 degrees), Eau Claire, Wisconsin (24 degrees), Dubuque, Iowa (28 degrees) and Salina, Kansas (30 degrees).

This first round of chilly conditions sweeps into the Northeast for the weekend.

Daytime highs may struggle to get out of the 30s Saturday and Sunday in the interior Northeast, from northern New England through western and central New York and western Pennsylvania. Highs in the 40s will be the rule this weekend from Boston to Washington D.C.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast)

Forecast Highs

This chilly air will also plunge to the Gulf Coast into the weekend. Highs in the 50s or lower 60s will be common in most of the South. Only the Florida Peninsula will rejoice in 70s or 80s.

The second of these two arctic pushes will arrive in the northern Plains on Sunday before pushing south into the rest of the Plains, Midwest, South and East early next week. 

Highs in the 40s and 50s will reach as far south as Interstate 10 along the Gulf Coast by Monday. Most of the Plains states and Midwest, with the exception of central and southern Texas, will see highs only top out in the 20s and 30s either Monday or Tuesday. 

Even Florida will see the effects of this second blast with highs only in the 50s and 60s for much of the state on Wednesday. South Florida will be the warm nose in the U.S. with highs staying in the 70s.

Temperatures will moderate some by late next week. 

Cold Low-lights

A few daily record low temperatures were broken on Friday at Grand Island, Nebraska (7 degrees), Sioux City, Iowa (8 degrees), Kansas City (13 degrees) and Topeka, Kansas (16 degrees).

Saturday morning, lows in the teens reached as far south as parts of Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, with 20s into Arkansas and Oklahoma. This resulted in several daily record lows Saturday including, Aberdeen, South Dakota (0 degrees), Hastings, Nebraska (9 degrees), Topeka, Kansas (12 degrees), Columbia, Missouri (16 degrees), St. Louis (18 degrees, tied), Tulsa, Oklahoma (19 degrees) and Oklahoma City (20 degrees).

Forecast Lows

Sunday morning, the cold will be felt over more of the South and East, with widespread 20s in the interior Northeast and, perhaps, the season's first frost or freeze along the Interstate 95 corridor from Boston to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C and possibly as far south as Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lows in the 30s and 40s will be felt well into the Deep South this weekend.

The first freeze of the season is also possible in portions of the South and mid-Atlantic where freeze warnings and watches have been issued for this weekend.

Freeze Alerts

A few daily record lows also cannot be ruled out this weekend, mainly in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma into the Ohio River Valley.

The second cold push of air will bring lows in the single digits to parts of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Minnesota Monday and Tuesday mornings. 

By early Tuesday, the freezing line will plummet down to central Texas and the Tennessee Valley, meaning lows will be about 15-30 degrees below average for mid-November. 

Morning lows will drop into the 30s down to the Gulf Coast from Texas to western Florida while much of the I-95 corridor stays near or just above freezing from North Carolina to Maine on Wednesday morning. The coldest air will much through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Thursday morning, bringing lows in the 20s to near 30 to most of the Big Cities. 

How Long Will it Last?

Our latest longer-range forecast guidance suggests this cold from the Rockies eastward may last through much of next week.

This may be due to a stubborn northward buckle of the jet stream over western Canada and the western U.S., which would then allow the jet stream southward plunge in the central or eastern U.S. to tap more cold air from Canada.

NOAA's 6- to 10-day outlook (Nov. 15-19) features a high probability of below-average temperatures across the East next week, but the core of the cold air will be moving eastward by then. The cold air may also begin to moderate during that period.

NOAA's 6- to 10-Day Outlook

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