Consider Friday’s big chill a mere warm-up act: This weekend will bring a deep freeze that could prove fatal for the ill-equipped.
As a new storm slogs across the Midwest on Sunday into Monday, states such as Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin will see lows in the minus teens and minus 20s. And with sub-zero winds whipping through some areas, it could feel more like the minus 50s and minus 60s, meteorologists warn.
“It’s the mother lode of cold air,” said Weather Channel coordinating meteorologist Tom Moore. “On the heels of what will be the coldest air of the season, will be dangerous, life-threatening winds.”
Snow is expected to begin falling throughout the Midwest on Sunday, also reaching parts of Tennessee and Alabama. Along the East Coast, the storm will bring rain but be accompanied by warmer weather.
Moore said Midwesterners should take extra precaution because of the arctic front that will paralyze the region.
“Anybody living out on the streets needs to be rounded up and put into a shelter,” Moore said. “The repercussions for not could be deadly, and I’m afraid we’re going to see cases like that.”
Minnesota isn’t taking any chances on Monday. Gov. Mark Dayton said all public schools will be closed for the day.
Minneapolis will see a high of minus-14 degrees and a low of minus-27 degrees through Monday — but with the wind chill it would feel like the minus-40s.
“The safety of Minnesota’s schoolchildren must be our first priority,” Dayton said in a statement. “I have made this decision to protect all our children from the dangerously cold temperatures now forecasted for next Monday. I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions.”
Temperatures won’t be any better in Chicago, which will come close to a high of minus-11 degrees — a record mark previously reached in December 1983 and January 1994.
Perhaps the most foolhardy will be football fans in Wisconsin. Sunday’s NFC wild-card game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers will play out in bone-chilling minus-5-degree temperatures.
Meanwhile, cities across the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast — walloped by Thursday night’s snowstorm — will see milder temperatures with rain Sunday into Monday. New York City will see highs in the lower 40s. Boston, digging out from as much as two feet of snow, could reach 50 degrees.
But then another frigid plunge is forecast for Tuesday: the Big Apple is expected to see a high of around 10 degrees, while Philadelphia and Boston will be in the teens.
Don't despair, Moore said, there's a silver lining: warming temperatures by the end of next week.
“We’re going to see a moderating trend as a whole,” he added.