An Arctic blast of cold air is set to bring “dangerously cold” sub-zero temperatures to central regions this weekend, while the eastern half of the country will continue to be battered by snow, sleet and rain from relentless winter storms.
The National Weather Service said in an advisory early Thursday that in the wake of this week’s storms a “much colder Arctic airmass” will arrive across the Plains and Midwest and into the Ohio Valley and last well beyond the end of this week.
The mercury will drop to minus figures across much of Montana and North Dakota on Friday afternoon, with highs in the single digits and 10s across Iowa and Minnesota.
“Temperatures will be brutal compared to the relatively mild conditions that have been experienced for much of the winter season up to this point in time,” the weather service said.
Having already been hit with heavy snow and treacherous driving conditions all week, the NWS said another major winter storm was due to hit eastern Nebraska to central Michigan on Saturday, with widespread snow of 6 to 12 inches across this portion of the Midwest, and more than a foot possible in lower Michigan.
Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses on Monday are expected to be the coldest in the state’s history, with 0 degrees Fahrenheit forecast for Des Moines, amid fears that the cold could affect turnout.
And sports is not immune to the Midwest freeze either: Saturday’s playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins is set to be played in -6 conditions — dropping to about -20 with wind chill — which would make it the coldest home playoff game in the Chiefs’ history.
The South is also expected to meet with yet more extreme weather this weekend, with a repeated chance of high winds and tornadoes. Parts of Florida are still repairing damage from tornadoes earlier this week.
At least seven people were injured by a tornado that reached wind speeds of 125 mph in Jackson County, Florida, on Tuesday, according to a NWS Tallahassee report issued Wednesday night.
So far five people are know to have died as a result of winter weather in the last week.
While more is rainfall expected along the East Coast from Friday it is expected to be less than that seen during last week’s storm systems — although 1 to 2 inches of rain is still possible in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, bringing the chance of flooding.
The number of properties without power has dropped from more than half a million on Wednesday morning to less than 100,000 across the country as of Thursday morning, according to the outage tracking website Poweroutage.us.
In Western regions and the Rockies, more heavy snow is expected with the heaviest due for the northwestern coast of California and the Oregon Cascades, where “a few feet of snow” is likely on Saturday, the NWS said, as yet another storm makes its way inland.
Warnings for high morning tides and high surf were in place in southern California, NWS Los Angeles said.
“Add in the gusty winds & cold weather, the beach & ocean won’t make for a fun place to be. Be safe & consider staying away,” the weather service said in a post on X Wednesday night.
The LA weather service also urged people to “check on your family, friends, neighbors, pets, and plants” as temperatures drop.
A state of emergency was declared in Ventura, California, where high surf has caused $1.75 million of damage to the city’s historic pier, which remains closed.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com