Wednesday, February 18, 2015   |   Critical Weather, Public Safety

Record-Setting Cold for Eastern Half of the US

A powerful arctic trough, shown below, is pushing the polar jet stream into the southern US, and as it does, frigid air is moving down from Canada. This air is some of the coldest of the year and will produce, and in some cases shatter, record cold temperatures for many areas of the eastern US on Thursday morning.

The leading edge of this extreme cold is marked by an arctic cold front, which this morning stretches from the Great Lakes region south and west into the Tennessee Valley. This front is quickly moving to the east-southeast.

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By this afternoon, this front will be moving through the Northeastern US, Mid Atlantic region and Southeastern US. By Thursday morning, the quick moving front will have cleared the Eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast region.

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The 15km Baron model is forecasting a large area of below 0 temperatures (purple color) for Thursday morning, affecting areas that rarely see temperatures below 0 especially for late in February, and will bring the freezing line as far south as central Florida.

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The 15km Baron model is not showing much of a recovery in temperatures by Thursday afternoon with most areas of the eastern US remaining below freezing. With these extreme low temps, Thursday will likely be the coldest day of the winter season for many locations.

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We are also watching the potential for the next winter storm system, which will develop Friday and move north/east over the weekend, producing more winter weather concerns.

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