Arctic Blast Bringing Coldest Air of Season to Some in Northern Tier, But It Won't Last Long

Linda Lam
Published: February 14, 2020

Current Temperatures

A brief arctic blast is ushering in the coldest air of the season for some, serving as a reminder that it is still winter.

This potent cold front already plunged through most of the Plains and Midwest, bringing strong winds and ground blizzard conditions in parts of the Northern Plains on Wednesday.

With clearing skies, temperatures plunged into the teens and 20s below zero in the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa Thursday morning. Subzero lows were recorded into southern Nebraska and southern Iowa.

Temperatures dropped into the teens and 20s below zero once again on Friday morning in Minnesota, as well as in parts of Wisconsin.

On Friday morning, Chicago saw its first subzero temperature of the season and Buffalo, New York, dropped into the single digits for the first time. Temperatures dipped into the single digits in St. Louis on Friday, making it the coldest there so far this season.

(MORE CURRENT MAPS: Wind Chills | Winds

Chilly Forecast

This cold front is moving through the rest of the East and South, sending temperatures tumbling quickly behind it and bringing a short break from the above-average temperatures that have dominated much of the United States this winter.

(MORE: Winter 2019-20 Has Been Warmest on Record So Far in Lower 48

A few daily record lows have been set with this cold blast, including in Dubuque, Illinois, on Friday when temperatures dropped to 15 degrees below zero.


Forecast Morning Lows

Chilly conditions will continue to push toward the East into Saturday.

Low temperatures on Saturday morning will be 10 to 25 degrees colder than average from the Northeast to the South. These Saturday morning lows will range from subzero cold in northern New England to the teens in the Boston-Washington, D.C., urban corridor to 20s and 30s in the Deep South.

Temperatures Saturday will hold in the 30s in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and will hold in the 40s or 50s in the Carolinas and Tennessee Valley.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast


Forecast Highs

Windy conditions will make it feel even colder.

This could lead to dangerous wind chills in many areas, so be sure to take precautions and dress appropriately.


Current Wind Chills

Warmer Temperatures Return

This shot of cold air won't last long. A southerly flow will develop by this weekend in the central U.S. and by early next week in the East. This will allow milder conditions to return quickly.

Temperatures will rise to near average or warmer by Saturday in the Plains and Midwest. It'll be 20 to 30 degrees warmer on Saturday compared to Thursday in much of the Northern and Central Plains and parts of the Mississippi Valley.

In the East, temperatures will rebound by Sunday, and highs will again be warmer than average from the Plains to the East Coast by early next week.

Highs will range from the 20s near the Canadian border to the 50s in the mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and mid-Mississippi Valley by early next week. Temperatures will climb back into the 60s and 70s across the South.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.