The coldest air since last winter is set to move over the Plains and the East during the first half of the new week.
The core of the cold air will focus over the northern Plains and the Great Lakes through at least Wednesday with overnight lows dipping down into the teens, and even the single digits in some normally colder spots.
Bone-chilling nights will be followed up by frigid days with highs struggling to reach the 20-degree mark over the regions on Monday and Tuesday. Some locations are forecast to stay below 20 F until Wednesday afternoon, including Minneapolis and Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Temperatures this low can make it dangerous for outdoors activities if you are not wearing the proper clothing.
While much of the Northeast will escape the cold on Monday, the arctic air is expected to move into the region by Tuesday.
Highs temperatures from Washington, D.C., through New York City are forecast to stay near or below freezing on Tuesday, levels that would be considered below normal even during the heart of winter.
A biting wind from the northwest will make it feel even colder with AccuWeather.com RealFeel® staying in the teens throughout the day along the I-95 corridor.
A significant lake-effect snow event will set up downwind of the Great Lakes as the arctic air blows over the comparatively warm waters of the lakes.
Several inches of snow can accumulate downwind of the lakes with upwards of a foot falling closer to the eastern shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. In some cases, the heaviest snow squalls in these areas can produce thunder and lightning.
Over a foot of fresh snow is also likely to fall in parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the lakelands of Ontario.
Traveling in areas affected by heavy snow squalls can be extremely difficult as the snow cannot only make roads slippery and hard to drive on, but also greatly reduce visibility.
This arctic outbreak will not only be limited to the northern Plains, Midwest and Northeast, but will reach across into the Deep South.
Record lows will be challenged on multiple occasions through midweek from eastern Texas to the Carolinas with lows near freezing along much of the Gulf Coast.
Parts of northern Florida may even have their first freeze of the season as lows dip down into the 20s in cities such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee.
This could have impacts on some of the citrus plants across the Sunshine State as freezing temperatures can damage the fruit.
The intensity of the cold is expected to lessen as temperatures begin to moderate heading into the second part of the week.
However, highs from Atlanta, Georgia, to Albany, New York, and westward through Aberdeen, South Dakota, will remain below normal until at least the weekend.
The second half of the week may also bring the next chance for snow to the Northeast with a storm potentially spreading accumulating snow from Indiana to Maine on Friday.