There is an outside chance low temperatures in Chicago touch minus 20 on consecutive days Wednesday and Thursday, which has happened only four other times in recorded history. However, most of the lower Hudson Valley will change to all rain during the day as temperatures warm to around 40 degrees. Models just now are getting a good grasp on this system and unfortunately, it means lower totals for most in snow. Chicago-area commuters woke up to heavy snowfall, with more than 5 inches already on the ground.
"A couple inches of snow can fall in Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; and Chattanooga, Tennessee", AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Cold weather advisories are in effect across a broad swath of the central US, from North Dakota to Missouri and spanning into Ohio.
It added: "From Tuesday through Thursday, expect frigid temperatures and bitterly cold wind chills, likely leading to widespread record lows and low maximum temperatures".
Central Illinois is expected to face some record-breaking wind chills midweek as an intense arctic air mass moves in. In its forecast discussion for the region, the Weather Service wrote that the danger of the predicted temperatures "can't be overstated", noting they will be 30 to 40 degrees below normal. Temperatures at night are expected to be about 25 below with wind chills of 48 below in McHenry County, she said.
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In many parts of the country, the coldest life-threatening weather is yet to come. Wind chill attempts to quantify the effect in terms of how it feels on our skin, which is why you'll sometimes hear it called the "feels like" temperature.
The current record of minus 26 degrees was set in 1996.
More than 1,000 flights were cancelled at two airports in Chicago, a major regional hub and America's third largest city, in nearby IL. Many locations are predicted to challenge their coldest high temperatures for January 30 on Wednesday, and a number of record lows may be set Wednesday and Thursday mornings. The winter storm will then bring upwards of a foot of snow to MI before targeting the Northeast overnight Monday into Tuesday.
In Wisconsin, plow drivers were having a hard time keeping up with the snow in Sheboygan. However, it will be enough to create unsafe roads and icy or snow-covered conditions.
School districts in Minnesota and Wisconsin canceled classes and government offices, universities and businesses shuttered, with the mercury expected to drop to a polar -65 Fahrenheit (-54 Celsius) in gusting wind. The stadium said tours, the Lambeau Field Atrium and all its businesses, including the Packers Hall of Fame, were closed to visitors Monday.
On Monday morning, the National Weather Service upgraded that advisory to a Winter Storm Warning for higher elevations in southwest North Carolina.