Waves of arctic air will bring the lowest temperatures and the harshest conditions of the winter from late this week through the middle of the month.
The arctic air will be pushed along by a couple of Alberta Clipper storms with rounds of light snow in parts of the Midwest and the potential for a couple of heavy snow events in part of the coastal Northeast.
In perspective, the benchmark low, or the coldest it has been thus far this winter, in New York City was 8 F, on Jan. 8. On that same day, the temperature dipped to minus 2 F in Detroit, minus 1 F in Boston, 11 F at Atlanta and 12 F at Washington, D.C.
Like the frigid air during early January, the waves of arctic air moving in could bring disruptions to some of the trains in the northern cities. The prolonged cold penetrating deep into the ground could also cause water main breaks from the Midwest to the Northeast.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada, "The combination of frigid air will not only be painful to endure for short periods of time outdoors but can bring life-threatening conditions for those not properly dressed."
The dangers will range from difficulty breathing to frostbite and hypothermia.
The first blast of arctic air will sweep from the Midwest to the Atlantic coast through the end of the week.
During multiple days, temperatures will not climb above zero F in northern Minnesota and part of northern Michigan.
While on the coldest days temperatures will climb into the single digits and teens from Minneapolis to Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be below zero for many hours on multiple days. Actual nighttime low temperatures will dip below zero on occasion.
In the swath from Cincinnati to Philadelphia, New York City and Providence, Rhode Island, the coldest days will bring high temperatures in the lower 20s with RealFeel Temperatures dipping below zero at times.
The worst of the cold will dive southward from central Canada this weekend. The arctic outbreak this weekend will be accompanied by strong wind for a time.
Record low temperatures may fall on multiple dates in the Northeast and South.
In the South, strengthening February sunshine will somewhat negate the frigid air by day. However, even in Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia, temperatures may be held to the 30s or lower on one or more days. The cold nights could also cause some exposed plumbing to freeze in the South.
The air will get cold enough in central and northern Florida to bring the risk of damage to unprotected sensitive fruits and vegetables.
Another blast of arctic air could plunge from the Midwest and Northeast to deep into the South during the middle of next week.
"People should take proper measures to cope with the harsh cold," Lada said.
"Be sure to wear extra layers when going outside and bring your animals indoors to keep them protected from the arctic air."
Have the antifreeze and tire pressure checked in your vehicle before the frigid air settles in. Also be sure to check your charging system to make sure your battery is strong enough to handle the cold.