An intense high pressure area has settled into the Northern Great Plains, and has brought bitterly cold temperatures along with it. Across much of North Dakota and Minnesota, mid-day temperatures will stay below zero. Dangerous wind chills have been occurring, with values as low as -40, although these are expected to abate somewhat today as the winds slacken. Even the actual temperature has been extremely cold, with Kabetogama, Minnesota reaching a bone-chilling -25 this morning.
North and Northwest winds from this huge high pressure are pushing the cold air to the east and south, so that most of the Eastern United States is cold now. Even in the deep South temperatures are struggling to get over 50.
Things will start to warm up in the east on Saturday, and by early next week a push of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico will bring rain to much of the region. For a detailed weather display, click here
James D. Means, Ph.D.
Atmospheric and Climate Scientist