NWS: Wintry week featuring an arctic air mass

NWS: Wintry week featuring an arctic air mass
February 9th, 2021 | NWS

A cold and active weather pattern is expected to persist throughout the next several days across the country, with only a few lucky locations across the Southeast and Southwest remaining warm and dry.

Setting the stage for another frigid February day is a brutally cold arctic high pressure system located across the north-central United States. Wind Chills as low as -40 to -50 degrees can be found across far northern portions of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

High temperatures will struggle to make it above zero from Montana to Minnesota through the next few days, with lows in the negative teens and negative twenties. Due to the dangerous combination of very cold temperatures and light wind, Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories stretch across 12 different states from the Northern/Central Plains to the Midwest.

Temperatures well below average also reach southward to the Southern Plains and eastward to the Upper Ohio Valley. By Thursday this cold airmass is expected to ooze south across more of the south-central U.S., as well as the Pacific Northwest.

With cold air in place, two separate waves of wintry precipiation are set to impact areas from the Southern Plains to New England through Thursday. Starting with today, an area of low pressure is forecast to develop over the Ohio Valley this morning and move toward the New England coastline by tonight. Light-to-moderate snow will be found to the north of the low and affect regions across the Interior Northeast and New England. Upwards of 3 to 6 inches of snow could be found here and lead to isolated travel disruptions. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings have been issued. Meanwhile, along an associated stationary front, light freezing rain may cause slippery conditions from central Oklahoma to western Kentucky today.

By Wednesday, precipitation is expected to break out to the north of the same frontal boundary and possibly produce more noteworthy freezing rain issues. Shallow cold air at the surface being pumped in from the arctic airmass over the north-central U.S. will help set the stage for a potentially significant ice storm from the Southern Plains to the Mid-Mississippi and Ohio valleys.


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