The National Weather Service is warning that bone-chilling cold temperatures will envelop much of the Upper Midwest this week as well as many parts of the East. The winter of 2014-15 has been quite uneventful thus far but with this new forecast in place, millions of Americans will be in for a shock and a very cold one at that if the National Weather Service is indeed correct with its forecast. A mass of frigid, arctic air is slowing making its way into the Upper Midwest from the northern reaches of Canada, bringing with it the winter’s coldest temperatures thus far this season. The NSW has issued numerous cold weather advisories and warnings as it is telling people living in the affected areas to bundle up and take care when out and about. The Service warned that highs this week throughout the Midwest may very well be 35 degrees colder than normal for this time of the year.
At this time last year, much of the country was being affected by the big polar vortex that sent temperatures plunging. This particular cold snap will be very similar to that. This time the origin of the cold weather will be a piece of the polar vortex that’s reflected in the troposphere — which is the layer of the atmosphere in which most weather occurs. People living in large cities like Chicago and Detroit and further east in NYC and Boston are being told not to expect to see temperatures much above freezing Monday. Things will get even worse on Tuesday and Wednesday as the cold mass of arctic air pushes further east, enveloping the country in even more frigid air.
Even a slight breeze can make already frigid air seem much colder. The bad news is that the cold air pushing its way into the Midwest will come with some strong winds and especially in the Great Lakes region of the country. This could result in some substantial amounts of lake-effect snow as the cold air will blow over the mild water of the Great Lakes which has not yet frozen over.
There is some good news in all of this and that is that the cold weather snap will be rather short-lived. By week’s end, temperatures will climb back into the normal range as the low pressure system bringing the frigid air will move out to sea on the Eastern seaboard. But until that happens, people living in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan and those living further east in places like New York City and Boston will have to put on extra layers of clothing and add some blankets to the bed as it will be bitterly cold outside.