You May Be Waking Up to Historic Cold

'Siberian Express' partly to blame for record-setting temps across country
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2015 7:22 AM CST
Updated Feb 19, 2015 8:00 AM CST
You May Be Waking Up to Historic Cold
Pedestrians brace against blowing snow in Copley Square in Boston, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Roofs collapsing from snow, canceled flights, power outages, miserable commutes, and piles of snow have become the norm this winter, but now officials—especially in the Southeast—are cranking up the heat again and shuttling the homeless into shelters as a cold front sweeps the country today and tomorrow, possibly setting record February lows from Tennessee to Virginia, NBC News reports. "The frigid air in the US comes courtesy of the Siberian Express, [which is] cold Arctic air from northern Russia," a Weather Channel meteorologist tells NBC. "It's traveling 5,000 miles over the North Pole, over cold snow pack, and going … as far south as the Gulf Coast." The polar vortex could bring not only the coldest air of the season, but also since the mid-'90s for the Southeast, mid-Atlantic, and central Appalachia, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, Maine and northern New Hampshire and Vermont could get up to a foot more snow, Accuweather reports.

And by cold, that doesn't just mean freezing, but subzero temps. The state that may end up suffering most? Kentucky, with experts predicting most of the state dipping below zero this morning—down to -15 degrees in rural areas, the Post notes; Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Chicago may also smash low-temp records for the day, with DC, New York City, and Boston expected to follow suit tomorrow, per NBC. Also tomorrow, temps below -20 degrees are anticipated for Michigan, Indiana, southern Ohio, and parts of West Virginia and Virginia, per the Post. We're not done: Snow cover in places hit hardest by winter Storm Octavia will drive rapid temperature drops, per Meanwhile, most of the Eastern US (right down to Florida) is facing wind-chill advisories or warnings, the Post notes. Hypothermia or car accidents linked to winter weather have been tied to at least seven deaths nationwide, NBC adds. (Read more winter weather stories.)

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