Frigid Air to Start the Weekend for the Midwest and Northern Plains

Posted: March 11, 2022 11:03 am

March is no stranger to crazy weather. 2022 is certainly no exception to this standard. In addition to precipitation that is all over the map, the month has delivered a wild ride of temperature swings. This trend continued this week as bitterly cold air is starting to infiltrate an area of the nation that had been enjoying temperatures that were more reflective of late spring over the last week.

Unseasonably Cold Weather Settling in Through Northern Plains and Midwest

The mass of cold started to move into the northern Plains states on Thursday. Minneapolis hung around in the 20s for the day, well below the average high for this time of year of 39 degrees. Friday is forecast to be even colder in the Twin Cities with a forecast high in the teens, approximately 25 degrees below average for the middle of March. In addition, the overnight lows on Friday will likely drop below zero degrees.

The blast of cold air is already breaking records as it moves through. The low in Denver plunged all the way to 7 degrees below zero on March 10, breaking the previous record from 1932 of 3 below zero.

This unseasonably cold weather will soon start to expand into the South Central U.S. on Friday and into Saturday. The temperatures will plummet as the jet stream moves to the south, bringing a mass of cold Arctic air from Canada along with it.

Areas in Kansas that had been enjoying temperatures in the 70s to start the month will see the mercury drop into the 30s for Friday before starting to rebound in the weekend. Average highs in central Kansas during the middle of March hover in the mid-50s.

The bitterly cold temperatures will drop as far south as Texas. Despite seeing temperatures readings at 80 degrees two times already in March, Dallas will only be in the 30s on Friday. In addition to the unusually cold weather, the metroplex will also be at the mercy of a mix of rain, sleet, and snow to kick off the weekend. Any standing water is at risk of freezing up on Friday night as the temperature drops even lower.

The warmth will begin to build again once more as the weekend marches on. This is to be expected in March when cold blasts do not have the ingredients in place to hang around as long. Cities that were in the 30s on Friday may jump up into the 50s by Saturday and the 60s by Sunday. By the time that next week rolls around, most of the Plains and the Midwest will be enjoying daytime highs that are 5 – 15 degrees above average.

Looking at the Rest of the Nation

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As the Plains and Midwest deal with cold temperatures to start the weekend, it will be the potential of a bomb cyclone causing problems on the East Coast. Over 150 million Americans will be under the gun for a variety of inclement weather conditions east of the Mississippi River.

The Northeast will likely see the most significant impacts from this system with the factors in place to produce a bomb cyclone. A storm is expected to roar up the Eastern Seaboard on late Friday and into Saturday, undergoing the bombogenesis process during this time frame. Residents need to be prepared for severe travel impacts from this storm heading into the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast and the Florida Peninsula will be dealing with severe weather threats on Friday and into Saturday. The greatest risk of flooding will be in a zone over northern Florida and southern Georgia.

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