Winter's icy air, rounds of snow to blast eastern US into February

By: Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Much colder air will sweep into the eastern United States later this week and will have staying power well into February.

The return to colder weather will follow another spike in temperatures more typical of March in many locations prior to the end of this week.

By Friday, temperatures will be slashed by 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in most locations, compared to peak levels on Wednesday in the Midwest and Thursday along the Atlantic seaboard.

Highs in the 40s and 50s across the north and the 60s and 70s in the south will be replaced with highs in the 20s and 30s in the north and the 40s and 50s in much of the south.

15 PHOTOS
Fun in the snow around the world
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Fun in the snow around the world
Migrants throw snowballs during a snowfall outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A woman walks on a street during a heavy snowfall in Sofia, Bulgaria, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
People enjoy a ride on their sledge on Feldberg mountain near Frankfurt, Germany, January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Kids build snowmen near the Messeturm in Frankfurt, Germany, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
A child shovels snow to make a small hockey rink on the frozen Trout Lake during a spell of cold weather in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada January 7, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
A stranded refugee boy rides his bicycle through a snowstorm at a refugee camp north of Athens January 10, 2017.REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
Rowers practise at Main river in Frankfurt, Germany, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Joggers run along the Charles River past the Boston skyline on a sunny winter's day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A woman is seen through a partially frosted tram window as temperatures fall to minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit) in Sofia, Bulgaria, January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
A surfer catches a wave on a freezing water of the Eisbach in Munich's famous English garden, Germany January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
A man shovels snow off from a roof at around minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus 14.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the village of Jezerc, Kosovo January 8, 2017. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
People pull their sledges after heavy snowfall in Berlin, Germany January 8, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
People take a selfie in Times Square on a snowy day in New York City, U.S., January 7, 2017. REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski
A man takes a dip in icy waters as the temperature dropped to around minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus 14.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in Minsk, Belarus January 7, 2017. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
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"In parts of the Southeast states, temperatures can fall a few degrees below average for a few days during the pattern," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok. "This is because the core of the cold air will be directed south of the Great Lakes and the Northeast."

Factoring in gusty winds and snowy conditions at times, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures can dip 10 to 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature by this weekend.

"While the air will be far from being extremely cold, the sudden change will be a shock to some people and will feel 30 to 40 degrees colder compared to many days over the past couple of weeks," Pastelok said.

In addition to the return of typical temperatures for late January and early February, snow is in store for some locations.

"Cold air sweeping past the Great Lakes will pick up moisture and result in episodes of lake-effect flurries and heavier squalls over parts of the Upper Midwest, central Appalachians and interior Northeast," Pastelok said.

42 PHOTOS
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
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Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

A laborer works beside a large snow sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A boy takes a ride on an ice sculpture illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival to celebrate the new year in Harbin on January 4, 2017.

(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Artists and workers prepare ice and snow sculptures for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 16, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

An artist polishes an ice sculpture for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 19, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

Performers perform on the stage during the opening ceremony of Beijing Ice and Snow Cultural Tourism Festival on December 30, 2016 in Beijing, China. The first Beijing Ice and Snow Cultural Tourism Festival started from December 30, which will last a total of over one month altogether. The first Beijing Ice and Snow Cultural Tourism Festival aims to invite tourists around the World to travel to Beijing in Winter.

(Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Artists prepare a snow sculpture for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 17, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A snow sculpture is seen for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 17, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at Harbin ice and snow world to celebrate the new year in Harbin city of China on January 1 2017.The opening ceremony of the 33nd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will open in 04 January 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Artists and workers prepare a snow sculpture for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 17, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at Harbin ice and snow world to celebrate the new year in Harbin city of China on January 1 2017.The opening ceremony of the 33nd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will open in 04 January 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Harbin Ice & Snow world to celebrate the 18th Harbin Ice & Snow world opening Ceremony in Harbin on January 5, 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Workers pull a giant ice cube out of the frozen Songhua River as they extract ice to make sculptures for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 17, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A view of structures built of ice during the opening night of the annual tourist attraction, Ice and Snow World, on December 21, 2016 in Harbin, China.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

A large snow sculpture is seen ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A view of structures built of ice during the opening night of the annual tourist attraction, Ice and Snow World, on December 21, 2016 in Harbin, China.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Newly-wed couples attend their group wedding ceremony which was held as part of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A view of structures built of ice during the opening night of the annual tourist attraction, Ice and Snow World, on December 21, 2016 in Harbin, China.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Laborers work at a large snow sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

Artists and workers prepare an ice sculpture for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 16, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A horse stands in front of ice sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Harbin Ice & Snow world to celebrate the 18th Harbin Ice & Snow world opening Ceremony in Harbin on January 5, 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Artists and workers prepare snow sculptures for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 15, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

A reindeer is seen as people visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival to celebrate the new year in Harbin on January 4, 2017.

(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

A worker take the skateboard at Harbin ice and snow world to celebrate the new year in Harbin city of China on January 1 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A worker polishes an ice sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at Harbin ice and snow world to celebrate the new year in Harbin city of China on January 1 2017.The opening ceremony of the 33rd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will open in 04 January 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A worker polishes an ice sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at Harbin ice and snow world to celebrate the new year in Harbin city of China on January 1 2017.The opening ceremony of the 33rd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will open on January 4, 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A worker polishes an ice sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival to celebrate the new year in Harbin on January 4, 2017.

(NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

People look around ice sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival to celebrate the new year in Harbin on January 4, 2017.

(NICOLAS ASFOURI)

A worker prepares an ice sculpture for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 17, 2016. 

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

People tour between structures built of ice in the Ice and Snow World on December 31, 2016 in China, Harbin.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

An aerial view of structures built of ice in the Ice and Snow World on December 31, 2016 in China, Harbin.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Workers cut ice on the frozen surface of a lake on January 02, 2016 in Shenyang, China. The ice blocks are to be used in building ice structures for sight-seeing.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Workers cut ice on the frozen surface of a lake on January 02, 2016 in Shenyang, China. The ice blocks are to be used in building ice structures for sight-seeing.

(Feature China/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the Harbin Harbin Ice & Snow world to celebrate the 18th Harbin Ice & Snow world opening Ceremony in Harbin on January 5, 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Contestants create ice sculptures during an international ice sculpture contest in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 3, 2017.

(Xinhua/Wang Jianwei via Getty Images)

People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at Harbin ice and snow world to celebrate the new year in Harbin city of China on January 1 2017.

(Photo by Tao Zhang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Motorists in the Interstate 75, I-79, I-80, I-81, I-90 and I-96 corridors should be prepared for sudden changes to visibility and poor road conditions during the pattern.

There is the potential for snow to fall at the rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour in the heaviest squalls. Where bands of snow persist, some locations can pick up a foot of snow in 24 hours.

In addition to the lake-effect snow, fast-moving storms diving in from western Canada, known as Alberta clippers, will be part of the weather pattern. These storms often bring a general swath of light to moderate snow well away from the Great Lakes.

One such clipper storm will drop southeastward and can bring enough snow to make roads slippery from the Midwest this weekend to parts of the interior South and the Atlantic coast by Monday.

Areas that could receive a coating of snow include parts of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, as well as the mid-Atlantic region of the I-95 corridor.

Another clipper storm may swing southeastward by the middle of next week.

"While the northwesterly flow of cold air will be enough to prevent many major storms from spinning up along the Atlantic coast, the flow could back off enough to allow one or two major coastal storms through the first half of February," Pastelok said.

As a result, the chance for a large coastal storm exists. Should a coastal storm develop, it could bring substantial snow to part of the East and perhaps severe weather in the Southeast during the first week or two of February.

11 PHOTOS
Vintage scenes of snowy Central Park
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Vintage scenes of snowy Central Park
(Original Caption) Youngsters frolicking through the snow in Central Park as New York's skyscrapers in the background form this picture postcard setting during today's snowstorm. The East Coast from Northern Virginia to Boston is cowering under the winter's worst snowstorm, lashed out of the skies with stinging 35MPH winds. The blizzard is expected to leave New York in the afternoon with an accumulation of 8 to 10 inches in its wake.
A snowball fight in Central Park, New York, after the first snowfall of 1938. (Photo by Tucker/Getty Images)
1894: View of men and women ice skating on a frozen pond in Central Park, New York City, looking towards the Hotel Majestic and the Dakota apartment buildings on Central Park West. (Photo by Museum of the City of New York/Byron Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 28: Sledders take to the slopes in Central Park at Pilgrim's Hill, after the city was covered with a blanket of snow. (Photo by Tom Watson/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 05: Snow scenes in Central Park. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Children sledding on a snow covered path in Central Park, New York City, ca. 1900.
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 19: A couple pauses for a cigarette in snowy Central Park. (Photo by Phil Greitzer/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
View of men and women ice skating on a frozen pond in Central Park, New York, 1900. (Photo by Detroit Publishing Company/Interim Archives/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) This is a general view of the southwest entrance of Central Park after New York was greeted with its first December snow. Pigeons in foreground seem to take the weather change is stride. A six-inch fall was predicted.
(Original Caption) 1/4/42-New York: The first real snowstorm of the winter which blanketed the New York area couldn't dampen the spirit of these horseback riding enthusiasts, who are shown on the riding path in Central Park this morning. BPA2 #3300
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