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A mostly dry day across the continental U.S. as frigid Arctic air begins its journey southward into the Northeast.
Heavy rain is expected throughout the Southeast as the disturbance that brought an ice storm to the Lower Mississippi Valley travels eastward. The rest of the Atlantic coast will remain clear, although isolated lake-effect snow will blanket the eastern shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
A strong high pressure system over the central U.S. will keep any storms from forming or traveling into the middle portion of the country. Rainfall is expected along the Pacific coast from California to Washington state, but will remain confined to these states. Snow is possible in the higher elevations of the Cascade Mountains.
An Arctic air mass will cause temperatures to plummet across the northern and eastern U.S. Highs in New England and the Upper Midwest will only reach the single digits and teens. Wind Chill Warnings are in effect for much of New England, as wind chills drop into the minus-20s and minus-30s early this morning and then again in the evening.
The rest of the eastern U.S. will also see well below-average temperatures. The Mid-Atlantic and Ohio River Valley will only reach the upper 20s and 30s, while the Southeast, southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley see highs in the 40s and 50s. A warm front will divide the Plains states, with high temperatures varying by almost 40 degrees across the Dakotas. Only Florida will escape the brutal cold, as the mercury climbs into the 70s and 80s.
The western U.S. will see temperatures closer to average for early February. The Intermountain West and Great Basin will reach the 30s and 40s, while the Pacific Northwest will hover around the 50-degree mark. Northern California will be in the upper 50s and 60s, while southern California and the Desert Southwest rise into the low 70s.