Coldest air of season to plunge into Midwest, Northeast in wake of snowstorms

Following a pair of snowstorms set to deliver a one-two punch to the midwestern and northeastern United States into this weekend, the coldest air so far this winter season has its sights set on the eastern half of the nation.

The second in this pair of snowstorms will bring heavy snow and, in some cases, blizzard conditions, to the central Plains and Midwest from Friday into Saturday before impacting the mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend.

"Temperatures from the central Plains to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will plummet from the 20s, 30s and 40s Fahrenheit during the storm to the single digits, teens and 20s immediately behind it," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Residents from the Upper Midwest to the central Plains and western Great Lakes will be the first to experience the arrival of Arctic air on Saturday, followed by the Ohio Valley and central Appalachians on Sunday and the Northeast on Monday.

RELATED: Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in China 2019

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Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in China 2019
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Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in China 2019
Ice sculptures are seen at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
An aerial view taken with a drone shows visitors tour the colorful building structures made from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (AP Photo/Olivia Zhang)
A man walks between snowmen on Songhua River that displays 2019 snowmen as a part of annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
An aerial view taken with a drone shows visitors tour colorful structure made from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (AP Photo/Olivia Zhang)
Swimmers react after finishing a competition in a pool carved out of the frozen Songhua River during the annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
An aerial view taken with a drone shows visitors tour colorful castle-like structures made from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (AP Photo/Olivia Zhang)
Visitors walk around ice sculptures illuminated by coloured lights during the annual ice festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Members of security stand guard in front of ice sculptures at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A visitor poses for photos inside ice sculptures illuminated by coloured lights during the annual ice festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Visitors walk around ice sculptures illuminated by coloured lights during the annual ice festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A worker cuts into an ice block in preparation for annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights are seen at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Swimmers shiver after finishing their competition in a pool carved out of the frozen Songhua River during the annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 5, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Visitors stand in front of ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights are seen at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A visitor takes a photo in front of ice sculptures at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights are seen at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A worker shaves ice sculptures in preparation for annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A visitor rides a slide in front of ice sculptures at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Visitors walk in front of ice sculptures at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A driver of a horse-drawn carriage for tourists reacts in front of ice sculptures at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A worker reacts in front of ice sculptures at annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A large ice block is lifted in preparation for annual ice festival, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Members of Harbin's ice swimmers club, break the ice to swim before their daily swim at Songhua River, in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
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"Because of the brutal cold following the storm, those expected to be in the area of heaviest snow may experience lengthy power outages that could lead to pipe bursts, especially those on exterior walls or those that are improperly insulated," Sosnowski warned.

Anybody living in these communities should have a backup generator on hand and be prepared to seek alternate ways of staying warm.

RealFeels Sundy Static

AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be no higher than the single digits in parts of the Tennessee River Valley and lower Ohio River Valley on Sunday and hold in the teens below zero across most of the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

Temperatures are expected to fall through the single digits with RealFeel Temperatures® below zero for the NFL playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday evening.

"Northerly winds are likely to frequently gust between 30 and 45 mph at the height of the storm and in its immediate wake and spread from west to east during Saturday and Sunday," Sosnowski added.

Those traveling on interstates and secondary roadways in areas expected to receive substantial amounts of snow through the weekend should be alert for blowing and drifting snow that can cause rapid reductions in roadway visibility.

It may get so cold in portions of the Midwest and Great Lakes region that chemicals used to treat roadways and melt snow and ice become ineffective, leading to a greater likelihood of winter weather-related injuries.

"Even in areas where all or mostly rain falls from the storm over parts of the southern Plains to near and south of the Ohio River, a rapid freeze-up can lead to icy patches on roadways and sidewalks," Sosnowski said.

Freezing air will even penetrate into the Deep South, reaching the central Gulf Coast by Saturday night and the Florida Panhandle by Sunday and Sunday night.

The core of the bitterly cold air will shift eastward into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Sunday night and Monday, where high temperatures may be no better than the teens in the Interstate-95 corridor and single digits across much of New England.

Northeast Cold Sun Night Static

In comparison to what is considered normal for the middle of January, these readings will fall some 15-25 degrees Fahrenheit below normal.

"It is possible that the severity of the cold may lead to school delays and closings early next week," Sosnowski said.

Because temperatures will likely fall 10-20 degrees in a matter of a few hours behind the storm, quick removal of fallen snow is encouraged to prevent slush from rapidly freezing.

Anybody planning on spending prolonged periods of time outdoors should dress in layers and warm clothing and leave as little skin exposed as possible. Frostbite can develop in 30 minutes or less when temperatures dip to the levels forecast by AccuWeather meteorologists.

People who have been saving money on heat during the first part of this winter may see that savings wiped out in the upcoming pattern, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how much snow and cold air is in store for your community.

Late Jan Cold Static

Although temperatures are expected to rebound back closer to average during the middle part of next week, AccuWeather's long-range team warns that even colder air will follow during the last few days of January and persist into February.

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