States across the Midwest, South and Northeast could see bitterly cold temperatures, along with a significant ice storm and snow, this weekend, the National Weather Service Prediction Center forecasts. It could be the longest stretch of cold air the country has seen so far this winter season, according to AccuWeather.
A strong cold front of Arctic air is expected to flow into areas across the the Midwest, southern Texas and the East Coast, where subzero wind chills are possible, according to the weather agency. Low temperatures on Friday morning could range between zero to ten degrees below zero Fahrenheit in the Upper Midwest and northern New England states. By Saturday morning, the interior Northeast could see subzero temperatures and strong winds.
Portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Michigan could be in for “dangerously cold” wind chills as low as 35 degrees below zero this weekend. Areas in those states, along with multiple others spanning from Texas to Maine, are under wind chill advisories from the NWS.
Meanwhile, parts of North Carolina and Virginia are expecting heavy mixed precipitation and are under winter storm warnings, with several inches of snow accumulation possible. Even areas in southern Texas could see light snow beginning Friday, with temperatures up to 30 degrees below normal, NWS forecasts.
The cold air could accompany significant icefall throughout southern Texas as well as North and South Carolina. Ice accumulation in these areas could reach up to a tenth of an inch. The NWS warns that icy areas are most at risk for downed trees and power lines.
The warnings in southern Texas come just days after a wildfire forced local residents to evacuate. On Tuesday, a prescribed fire at Bastrop State Park spread beyond its intended fire boundaries, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. As of Wednesday afternoon, the 783-acre blaze was 58% contained, and all evacuation and road closure orders had been lifted, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The NWS advises residents in the storm’s path to avoid traveling on the potentially slippery roads if possible, wear appropriate clothing and plan for potential power outages.
“Frost bite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken,” the weather agency said. “Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.”