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Fox News Weather Center

Dangerous Cold Air Takes Aim at Midwest

The coldest air of the season so far is poised to invade the Central states during the rest of this week and will reach the East over the weekend.

Air originating from above the Arctic Circle will roll southeastward across the Plains during the middle of the week and will reach the Midwest Friday.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Andy Mussoline, "The air mass has been producing below-zero temperatures on the North Slope of Alaska, and while it will modify moving southward and eastward, it will mean business as it enters the United States."

The same air mass due to enter the U.S. this week was producing temperatures ranging from 10 to 50 below zero over parts of Canada's Yukon and Northwest Territories Tuesday morning.

The frigid air will be accompanied by strong, gusty winds that will drive RealFeel® temperatures to painful levels for those who have to be outdoors for any length of time, without warm clothing.

Gusts past 40 mph will be frequent and could cause flight delays as the cold air spreads from the northern Plains to the Midwest and East.

From parts of Montana to North Dakota and Minnesota, high temperatures will be in the teens for one or more days with RealFeel temperatures hovering in the single digits and dipping below zero at times.

Farther south from parts of South Dakota and Nebraska, eastward to Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, highs will be in the 20s on one or more days with RealFeel temperatures in the teens and single digits.

As the cold air pushes southward, it will produce a period of snow along the Front Range of the Rockies, including Denver. Snow will also mark the arrival of cold air over the Upper Midwest, with rain falling farther south.

Portions of the central Appalachians and the Ohio Valley will have the first day with subfreezing temperatures throughout the daylight hours Sunday.

For folks combing through debris in search of valuables and irreplaceable items in the wake of the devastating Midwest tornadoes, the cold wave with its biting winds will be an additional hardship.

The Arctic outbreak will also unleash a round of flurries and locally heavy lake-effect snow from the Upper Midwest to the central Appalachians. There is the potential for a foot or more of snow, where the bands of snow persist.

A significant amount of cold air will drive into Texas and the Deep South. Most areas that had a freeze earlier in the month will be hit again. However, some locations along the upper part of the Gulf Coast that escaped the worst of the chill will get a frost or freeze this time. Only South Texas and central and southern Florida will escape frost.

High school and college football fans will be shivering this weekend, as will many cold-hardy NFL fans on Sunday.

A small part of the Arctic air will break off and deliver the first freeze of the season to Seattle and Portland, Ore., Wednesday night.

Indications are the worst of the cold air will depart the Central and Eastern states by the middle of next week in time for holiday travelers. However, some rough cold air may linger from around the Upper Midwest to northern New England.

A storm in the South will have to be watch for a possible northward turn along the Atlantic coast during the middle of Thanksgiving week.