US weather: Arctic blast could break 200 records as historic 'Siberian express' brings cold front

Chris Riotta
Tribune News Service via Getty I

An Arctic blast sweeping across the eastern United States was expected to bring below-freezing temperatures and as many as 200 record lows throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service.

The unusually cold air mass came from Siberia — a phenomenon called “Siberian Express” — and was predicted to bring historic low temperatures from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast beginning on Monday and lasting until Wednesday night.

The cold front rolled through the upper Midwest on Sunday before heading south towards Texas, where forecasters said temperatures would fall nearly 30 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) below typical November averages by Tuesday morning.

Record lows would then be felt from the Gulf Coast to Chicago, according to the National Weather Service’s digital forecast database.

Ice and severe weather conditions were also expected in several states on Monday, the National Weather Service reported, with some parts of northern Michigan possibly facing an entire foot of snow.

A winter storm warning was issued across the state’s Thumb region, with weather advisories in effect across Huron, Sanilac and St Claier counties on Monday and Tuesday.

The weather service’s Weather Prediction Centre tweeted on Monday morning that the nation’s cold spot was located in Malta, Montana, where the temperature sat at -24 degrees Fahrenheit (-31 degrees Celsius).

The centre said earlier that 148 daily record lows were forecast “to be broken, tied, or come within 1 degree between Tuesday and Thursday this week,” while National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio told the Associated Press that some 200 records may be broken this week nationwide.

The January-like temperatures are far from common at this time of year in the southeastern US, though it’s not the first time a Siberian Express brought historic lows to the country.

The term was reportedly first coined during the January 1982 cold front with air from Siberian origins, which brought record-lows to many parts of the country.

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