Valentine's Day weekend arctic outbreak to bring coldest air of the season to Northeast, subzero cold to Midwest

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A Winter Storm for Valentine's Weekend?

By Weather.com

The coldest air of the season is poised to plunge into the Northeast this coming Valentine's Day weekend. This Arctic blast will not only flirt with some daily records, but will also bring subzero cold to parts of the Midwest and reinforce the cold in the Southeast.

In addition to the bitterly cold temperatures, wind chills are expected to plummet into the 20s and 30s below zero from parts of the Midwest into the Northeast. This has prompted the National Weather Service to issue wind chill watches for a large portion of the Northeast, where "life-threatening" cold conditions will be possible.

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Wind Chill Alerts

A sharp southward nosedive of the polar jet stream will help tap an air mass originating from the Canadian Arctic and send it into the eastern half of the country from Friday through Valentine's Day.

Wednesday night into Thursday morning wind chills dropped into the 30s below zero in northern Minnesota, including at the Falls International Airport. The coldest low temperature recorded on Thursday morning in the contiguous U.S. was 35 degrees below zero at Cotton, Minnesota.

Current Temperatures

Let's first break out the timeline of shivering details, then explain why it won't last long.

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Valentine's Day weekend arctic outbreak to bring coldest air of the season to Northeast, subzero cold to Midwest
Snow falls on a person as they wait for a bus in downtown Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Two women run through a snow flurry Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
A bus window is covered by snow and ice, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in Evanston, Ill. Snow has now overspread nearly all of the Chicago Metro area early Sunday afternoon and is expected to continue into the night before ending. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A girl uses a campaign sign for Chris Christie to help her parents clear snow from their car after attending a campaign stop by the Republican presidential candidate, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Dover, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Jeremy Kincaid clears a sidewalk with a snowblower after a snow storm Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Derry, N.H. The storm was New Englandâs biggest snowstorm so far this season, coming two weeks after a massive blizzard engulfed much of the Eastern Seaboard but largely spared Boston and points north. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A pedestrian walks past a grove of snow-covered trees Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Marlborough, Mass. What started off as rain Friday morning quickly turned to sticky, heavy snow. Many school districts in the region closed for the day, including in some in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
A pedestrian passes in front of an American flag as snow falls in Manchester, N.H., Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Stoic New Englanders doggedly went about their business Friday as a winter storm that could drop close to a foot of snow in some areas struck the region. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Dave Chiokadze, left, and James Radcliffe, volunteers for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, walk through the snow knocking on doors in search of Trump supporters Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Londonderry, N.H. The twenty-two year olds, both from out-of-state whoâve never been involved in politics, are on the front lines of Trumpâs ground war in New Hampshire, where the billionaire businessman is under intense pressure to win big. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Althea LeBlanc, 9, jumps off a snow bank after a snow storm Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Derry, N.H. The storm was New Englandâs biggest snowstorm so far this season, coming two weeks after a massive blizzard engulfed much of the Eastern Seaboard but largely spared Boston and points north. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Snow falls on a couple as they cross Penn Ave. in downtown Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Charlie Anderson, 13, rests while clearing snow outside his home in Towson, Md., Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. East Coast residents continued to dig themselves out after a massive weekend snowstorm. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
Street lights are illuminated as a jogger runs around Lake Harriet, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 in Minneapolis a heavy snow storm. Parts of the Midwest including southern Minnesota experienced blizzard conditions. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Sharee Sanderson, left, sleds down a hill with her daughter Calli Sanderson in Flagstaff, Ariz., Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. A winter storm dropped snow across Arizona on Monday, from the state's high country down to the desert region bordering Mexico. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs)
Grace McGuire of Washington shovels out her car in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, as the nation's capital digs out following a monster weekend snow. East Coast cities hit hard by a massive snowstorm are getting closer to their normal routines after more than three days with life at a virtual standstill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Students on the campus of Northern Arizona University navigate through blustery weather in Flagstaff, Ariz., Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. A winter storm dropped snow on the region, closing schools and making travel difficult. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs)
A snowplow clears snow off of Interstate 80 near Earlham, Iowa, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. A winter storm that dumped heavy snow on Denver and much of Colorado has moved east into Nebraska and Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Rob Bitz rests on his bicycle in the snow along a street Sunday, Jan.17, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Flagstaff resident Ruth Tilman sweeps off her car after a storm in Flagstaff, Ariz. on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. A series of El Nino-related storms dumped heavy snow on the region. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs)
An attendee arrives in the snow for a Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump campaign stop, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Michaela Witt sleds down a hill into Pasley Park on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. A major winter storm impacting the central U.S. could bring several inches of snow to southeastern South Dakota. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Peter Best and Mackenzie Kuhl hold hands while walking across the Stone Arch Bridge, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Minneapolis. A winter storm is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in south-central Minnesota before it tracks north and east. (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)
Judith Fourzan takes a walk around Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. A heavy snowfall created a winter playground for El Pasoans after several inches remained from an overnight storm. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP) 
A jogger makes his way along a snow-covered street in the Hudson Park neighborhood, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and gusty winds are creating treacherous driving conditions across upstate New York as eastern parts of the state receive their first severe weather of the winter season. The National Weather Service says 1 to 4 inches has fallen from the Albany area northwest to the Mohawk Valley and north to the southern Adirondacks. The weather service has posted winter weather advisories for all of New York on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Barb Grams of Bremerton, Wash., looks up at the snowflakes coming down after getting out of church in Silverdale, Wash., Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. (Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via AP) 
A Iowa DOT plow clears snow to widen the path along Highway 63, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Waterloo, Iowa. (Matthew Putney/Waterloo Courier via AP)
Children sled in Spellerberg Park, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. A major winter storm impacting the central U.S. could bring several inches of snow to southeastern South Dakota. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP) 
Briana Betancis, 14, and Deziree Dominguez, 12, fly down a hill at Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. A heavy snowfall created a winter playground for El Pasoans after several inches remained from an overnight storm. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP) 
Miles Overstreet throws snowballs to his dog Ferris as they play at Madeline Park in the Kern Place neighborhood of El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. A heavy snowfall created a winter playground for El Pasoans after several inches remained from an overnight storm. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)
Wayne and Linda VanBerkun snowshoe near their home in southeastern Sioux Falls, S.D., Monday, Dec. 28, 2015. A major winter storm impacting the central U.S. could bring several inches of snow to southeastern South Dakota. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Eastbound motorists on the Beltline highway in Madison, Wis. trail a snow plow working to clear the roadway Monday, Dec. 28, 2015.The storm system that spawned weekend twisters in North Texas brought winter storm woes to the Midwest on Monday and amplified flooding that's blamed for more than a dozen deaths. (AP Photo/John Hart, Wisconsin State Journal)
LUBBOCK, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: A highway worker tries to shield himself while walking to his truck on December 27, 2015 in Lubbock, Texas. Coming on the heels of several strong tornadoes, some northern parts of Texas are experiencing blizzard conditions with wind gusts up to 50 mph and as much as 13 inches of snow forecast. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
A man's umbrella blows inside out as he walks along downtown Salt Lake City Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. The first major winter storm of the season dumped up to a foot of snow in some parts of the Salt Lake City metro area, snarling traffic on morning commutes to work and school. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
NEDERLAND, CO - DECEMBER 15: Steve Hauser plows snow in the Caribou Shopping Center in Nederland, Colorado on December 15, 2015. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
An unidentified motorist clears snow off his four-wheel-drive vehicle in high winds early Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015, in Denver. Forecasters predict that four to 10 inches of snow will blanket Colorado's eastern plains before the storm, which started Monday in the intermountain West, moves to the east. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
NEDERLAND, CO - DECEMBER 15: A yellow lab waits patiently in his owner's snowy old truck along East 1st Street in Nederland, Colorado on December 15, 2015. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day. The dog looked warm and didn't wait long in the car as his owner returned shortly after an errand in the town. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Motorists are stacked up in a line of vehicles slowed to a crawl along Logan Street by high winds driving granular snow into drifts early Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Denver. The biggest winter storm to hit the Denver area so far this season is making the morning commute a mess, causing many spinouts and crashes in the slippery snow and delaying flights by an average of about an hour and a-half at Denver International Airport. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DENVER, CO - DEC. 15: Anna Renton, 7, right, relaxes while neighbor Graham Langner, 7, has a snow fight with his nanny, Ashely Kish.The Denver metro area received more snow than expected overnight, closing schools across the city with some areas measuring a foot of snow by the early morning. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
John Malsbary, front right, joins forces with Joe Gray, back right, to push a sedan driven by Rebecca Conway out of a curbside spot where the vehicle was stuck early Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015, in Denver. Forecasters predict that four to 10 inches of snow will blanket Colorado's eastern plains before the storm, which started Monday in the intermountain West, moves to the east. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
LAKEWOOD, CO - DECEMBER 15: Crut Liles clears snow from his walkways outside his home in Lakewood, December, 15, 2015. Many schools in the area are closed due to the snow storm. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DEC. 15: A CDOT crew runs their plow truck southbound on Colorado Blvd. near E. 13th Ave. in Denver. The Denver metro area received more snow than expected overnight, closing schools across the city with some areas measuring a foot of snow by the early morning. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Six year old Caroline Randolph plays in imitation snow falling from a storefront in Northport, Ala., as she enjoys the Dickens Downtown celebration Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Rain and thunderstorms, rather than snow, dampened the holiday festival. (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP) 
Missy Thomas dumps a shovel full of snow in front of her niece and nephew Alora, 3, and Daine Thomas, 2, as they try to bury a small pumpkin in a mound of snow while their aunt clears her driveway Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Bismarck, N.D. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
A pedestrian crosses North Seventh Street in Bismarck early Tuesday morning as the first snowfall of the winter season passed through North Dakota leaving several inches of wet heavy snow across the state. (Tom Stromme/Tribune via AP)
Plows clean up a street after the area received heavy snow in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. A record-breaking snowstorm lingering over the northern Plains on Tuesday caused slippery roads, but brought much-needed moisture to the region. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP)
Tom O'Hara snowplows on the sidewalk with his dog, Smokey, by his side after the area received heavy snow in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. A record-breaking snowstorm lingering over the northern Plains on Tuesday caused slippery roads, but brought much-needed moisture to the region. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP)

Julie McCabe, of Boulder, carries her dog "Scout" in the snow on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP)

Enric Sabadell, of Boulder, scrapes the ice off his windshield before heading to a friends house for Thanksgiving dinner, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 in Boulder, Colo. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP)
Al Frelk walks his dog, Shiba, 10, in Lords Park in Elgin, Ill., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Asked about the snow, Frelk said, 'It's beautiful, but can be tough to drive in. Though Shiba has been waiting 9 months for this.' The first winter storm of the season dropped more than 10 inches of snow at numerous Chicagoland locations. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
People walk about as first snow of the year falls, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The National Weather Service says heavy snowfall was expected Friday afternoon into early Saturday in parts of northwest and north central Iowa. Meteorologist Kevin Skow says the heaviest snow ban is expected to fall from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, down to Dubuque. (Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register via AP)
Hope Peterson, 22, and Alex Cutler, 24, both of Sioux Falls, shovel the sidewalk in front of Cutler's parents' house during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Ground crew throws snowmelt to the snow covered seats before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A woman cleans snow from her car on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Harvey Wollman, of Sioux Falls, uses a snow blower to clear the sidewalk near his house during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
A car moves slowly on the road during a snowstorm, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Cars are covered by snow in rental car parking lot at O'Hare International Airport, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A woman walks on the street during a snowstorm, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Bridger Wagner, 3, plays in the snow in front of his house during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Fans wait in the snow covered seats before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A security personnel waits in the snow covered stands before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Brittany Tappen stands next to her vehicle, one of several that were stranded by ice and snow on the northbound off ramp from I-25 to Baptist Road during the morning commute north of Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The storm system that dropped a foot of snow in the Rockies was making travel hazardous as it headed east on Wednesday, menacing the Plains with heavy snow and threatening turbulent weather, even tornadoes, in parts of the Midwest. (Mark Reis/The Gazette via AP) 
Snow is plowed from the street during a heavy snowy day on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Jim Paulson, of Sioux Falls, shovels part of his driveway before using the snow blower to clear the rest during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Snow hit the Denver metro area having an impact on air travel at Denver International Airport. They were clearing out from the snow on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Raul Hernandez shovels snow in the economy lot. Hernandez and his crew had worked all night to clear snow. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A woman walks her dog in fresh snow at Chautauqua Park, in Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. An overnight storm dropped more snow in the mountains of Colorado, but left only a few inches in the Denver area. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Vehicles move slowly on the road as snow falls Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Wheeling, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LAKEWOOD, CO - NOVEMBER 11: Brandon Nelli, a student at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, shovels snow during a Veteran's Day snow storm the moved into the area overnight, November, 11, 2015. Lakewood got almost 3 inches in some areas form the storm. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Summer Wagner, of Sioux Falls, shovels snow from her driveway during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 11: A blanket of white snow covers Fort Logan National Cemetery during a Veteran's Day snow storm the moved into the area overnight, November, 11, 2015. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Curtis Hansen, left, and Jeff Malley push a motorist up the icy northbound off-ramp from I-25 to Baptist Road Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, north of Colorado Springs, Colo. The storm system that dropped a foot of snow in the Rockies was making travel hazardous as it headed east on Wednesday, menacing the Plains with heavy snow and threatening turbulent weather, even tornadoes, in parts of the Midwest. (Mark Reis/The Gazette via AP) 
A woman runs in fresh snow at Chautauqua Park, in Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. An overnight winter storm dropped more snow in the mountains of Colorado, but left only a few inches in the Denver area. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
MONUMENT, CO. - November 17: Bob Swift clearing his driveway of a deep drift of snow in Monument, CO. November 17, 2015 Monument, CO (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A woman walks with an umbrella during a snowstorm, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Salvador Gonzalez, left, and his 11-year-old son, Julio, build a snowman near their home as a storm, which is packing high winds and snow, blankets the plains Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. The storm has closed much of Interstate 70, Colorado's main east-west highway, because of blizzard conditions on the Eastern Plains as well as in northwest Kansas. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Daily High/Lowlights

  • Friday: This potent cold will overspread the Midwest Friday, where highs will struggle to get much above zero in the typically coldest spots of eastern North Dakota, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.
  • Saturday morning: Subzero lows are expected as far south as parts of the southern and eastern Great Lakes, as well as parts of the Corn Belt. Lows in the teens and 20s below zero can be expected in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Wind chills in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will be well below zero.

FORECAST: Twin Cities | Chicago | Detroit | Buffalo

Forecast Highs: Valentine's Cold Outbreak

  • Saturday: The cold blast arrives in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic states and surges into the Southeast. Highs will hold in the teens and 20s in the Boston-Washington corridor, with single digits and teens the most the thermometer can muster in the interior Northeast, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Upper Midwest. Some parts of Upstate New York may even struggle to rise above zero. Some daily record cold highs may be set in the Great Lakes and Appalachians.
  • Sunday morning: Subzero lows are possible in southern New England and the suburbs of New York City and Philadelphia. Wind chills will be even more brutal with wind chills expected to be in the 20s below zero in New England with 30s below zero in portions of the interior Northeast. Farther south, lows in the single digits and teens will drive into the Piedmont of the Carolinas. Thirties and 40s will plunge into parts of north and central Florida. The Upper Midwest won't be quite as cold, but should still have some subzero lows, in spots.
  • Record Lows Sunday: A few daily record lows are possible Sunday morning, but widespread record lows aren't expected. A few cities that may see records tied or set include Boston (-3 degrees); Worcester (-11 degrees); Providence (-7 degrees); Hartford (-9 degrees); Albany (-10 degrees); New York (2 degrees); Philadelphia (2 degrees).

FORECAST: NYC | Philadelphia | Washington D.C.

Forecast Lows: Valentine's Cold Outbreak

  • Sunday: In the Northeast and Midwest, teens and 20s will be the rule for most on Valentine's Day. The Carolinas and Tennessee Valley will hold in the 30s and 40s. Some record cold daily high temperatures are possible in the Northeast, Ohio Valley and Appalachians.

Several cities in the Northeast could see their coldest temperatures of the season so far this weekend.

Boston's Logan Airport hasn't dipped below 0 degrees yet this winter, but could do so Sunday morning. Incidentally, subzero cold is quite rare in the city of Boston. They've only had nine subzero lows so far this century, three of which occurred last winter.

Pittsburgh could also slide below zero Sunday morning, something that happened nine times last winter, but happens, on average, only twice each year.

Why This Won't Last Long

Now for the good news, if you're already starting to get a little winter fatigue. The bitterly cold air will be very short-lived. Temperatures will already begin to warm up a bit starting Monday.

Above: Forecast surface temperature anomalies (above and below average) from the Monday evening mean of the ECMWF ensemble forecast. Note how the coldest anomalies (pink, purple, blue contours) largely disappear by next Tuesday at the end of the loop.

The reason for this is another pattern shift next week.

Essentially, the large northward bulge of the jet stream bringing record warmth to the West, including California and the Desert Southwest, will break down. Weather geeks refer to this as a switch from a positive Pacific-North American oscillation to a negative one.

The corresponding southward plunge of the jet exporting cold air out of Canada into the Midwest and East will then also flatten out next week.

Again, weather geeks would say the Arctic oscillation will switch from negative to positive, meaning the winds around the North Pole will be stronger, keeping the coldest Arctic air bottled up instead of plunging south.

So, expect a February thaw after this weekend's shivering in parts of the Midwest and East by the latter half of next week.

MAPS: 10-day Forecast Highs/Lows

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