Polar Vortex To Invade Midwest, Wind Chills May Exceed 50 Below Zero


A reinforcing front will bring some light fluffy snow or flurries Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, followed by a bitterly cold and breezy day on Wednesday.

There will be primarily rain in New York City with snow up to the northwest. Some of the higher terrain in parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia will see feels like temperatures approach zero with below zero reading in the North Carolina mountains.

A severe outbreak of cold air will plague a large part of the nation next week - the coldest the US has endured in many years. The phenomenon was popularised during the cold North American winter of 2014, but affects areas of Europe, and Asia as well, with notable cold bursts reported in North America in 1977, 1982, 1985 and 1989, according to the National Weather Service. Right now it looks like our coldest day locally will be Wednesday (with highs about 10 to 20)...but the entire period will feature cold temps and risky wind chills at times.

Snowplow drivers had trouble keeping up with the snow in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where up to 14 inches (35.5 centimeters) is expected. That will occur in the wake of the winter storm that may lay a swath of disruptive snow from the Midwest, Chicago included, to a part of the Northeast early next week.

But the snow is only "part one, and maybe even the easier part" because temperatures will plummet over the next three days, said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center. The Minnesota State Patrol was responding to scores of spin outs and crashes early Monday in the Twin Cities metro area, even before the busiest commute time, because of snow-covered and icy roads. Residents of Chicago should brace for temperatures of as low as -43 degrees Celsius come next week if forecasts are correct. Temperatures in Chicago could drop to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 29 Celsius) for the first time since the mid-1990s.

In Wisconsin, plow drivers were having a hard time keeping up with the snow in Sheboygan. More than 200 flights at Chicago's Midway International Airport were canceled, but only about seven flights were delayed. The county's courts and nonessential services will be closed Monday.

The cold also prompted officials to close some schools in eastern Iowa.