Cold Blast May Grip Eastern Half of U.S. by January’s End

Another blast of arctic air may be on the way for much of the central and eastern U.S. by the end of the month, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.

Computer forecast models predict temperatures will fall at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius) below normal from North Dakota to Michigan and Manitoba to Quebec, according to Rogers’ forecast for Jan. 24 to 28. At the same time, readings may dip by 3 to 5 degrees from Montana to Maine and south to Texas.

Those projections will probably get lower as time goes on, Rogers said. Last week, temperatures across much of the Midwest slid well below zero Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) and single-digit readings reached far into the U.S. South. The cold contributed to thousands of flights being canceled, a boost in energy demand and disruptions for refineries and pipelines.

“We are colder than yesterday, overall, but still not as cold as last week’s event, mainly due to the fact we are still about 12-13 days away from it, so confidence on details must continue to build yet with consistency,” Rogers wrote in his forecast. “We believe the Midwest should see the sharpest cold anomalies and temperatures.”

Below-normal temperatures, especially in Eastern and Midwestern cities, tend to increase energy consumption as more people heat homes and businesses.

Super Bowl

This year, forecasts are also being closely watched because the National Football League is holding the 48th Super Bowl in East Rutherford, New Jersey. An online poll with more than 11,000 votes showed 30 percent believe a blizzard will occur on Feb. 2, while 61 percent see a cold and crisp day and the rest are looking for a “February heat wave,” according to the event’s website.

Winter weather advisories and storm warnings stretch today from North Dakota to Wisconsin, where 9.5 inches (24 centimeters) of snow are expected to fall in Green Bay and about 3.3 inches in Madison and Milwaukee, according to the National Weather Service.

Chicago may get just under an inch of snow and sleet today, the agency said.

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