Bitterly cold air moving over the Great Lakes created the perfect conditions for lake effect snow on Friday. Squalls impacted Michigan and upstate New York, and at times produced snowfall rates of more than 2 inches per hour.
Temperatures remain brutally cold on Saturday morning, with wind chills below zero across much of the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest and northern New York.
The wind chill on Saturday morning is minus 20 in Minneapolis and minus 16 in Chicago.
It won’t be quite as bad farther east, with wind chills in the teens for the major cities in the Northeast.
There will be brief relief from the cold with the passage of a clipper system Sunday through early next week.
A low is expected to enter into the Upper Plains from Canada Saturday night into Sunday. Circulation will bring slightly warmer temperatures to the Plains and Great Lakes ahead of the system.
By Sunday evening, the system will be centered over the Dakotas and snow will be falling from Montana to Michigan. The Midwest can expect the majority of snow to fall Sunday night through Monday night.
The system is set to race eastward, and will impact Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and the Ohio River Valley by Monday evening.
The entire East Coast will feel the effects of the clipper system by Tuesday afternoon.
Rain and a wintry mix can be expected along the immediate coast and to the south.
However, southern states like the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi have a chance at seeing flakes as well.
By Thursday, the clipper system will have moved out of the country and left behind significant snow accumulations. Models currently show the heaviest amounts of snow will fall in southern Wisconsin, upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and northern Maine.
These areas could see over 12 inches locally.
Wind chill temperatures in the Dakotas, and Upper Midwest will deteriorate after the passage of the clipper system.
Monday wind chills will dip to minus 20, while it’ll feel like minus 30 or minus 40 from Des Moines, Iowa, to Fargo, North Dakota, on Tuesday.
Wind chill temperatures on Wednesday will reach unprecedentedly low levels: minus 60 in Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota. In Chicago, it will feel like 50 below zero.
These are extremely dangerous conditions and caution should be exercised when heading outdoors. Frostbite can occur within minutes.