November 12, 2019
At a Glance
– A strong cold front is plunging through the U.S.
– This front will deliver the coldest air of the season so far for many in the eastern half of the country.
– Numerous daily cold records for mid-November will be set.
– A freeze is possible as far south as parts of the Gulf Coast.
A powerful arctic cold front is plunging through the U.S. and will deliver the coldest air of the season to the central, southern and eastern United States, shattering scores of mid-November records in the process.
The front was slicing through the Northeast and Southeast early Tuesday, with frigid temperatures by mid-November standards already in place across the nation’s mid-section.
Morning temperatures have already plunged to the single digits as far south as the Texas Panhandle, with some subzero lows in parts of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest.
Indianapolis plunged to the single digits Tuesday morning, the earliest in the fall they had ever done so in records dating to 1871.
Des Moines, Iowa, dipped to minus-1 degree Tuesday morning, only the fifth time they’ve dipped below zero during the first half of November in records since 1878.
The front first arrived in the northern Plains and northern Rockies Sunday, plunged through much of the Plains and Midwest Monday.
Among daily record lows set Monday included minus-21 degrees in Turner, Montana, 13 degrees in Chicago and 16 degrees in St. Louis. Record cold highs set Monday included 8 degrees in Dickinson, North Dakota, and 18 degrees in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Temperatures on Monday afternoon stayed well below freezing as far south as the mid-Mississippi Valley and Central Plains. These were daytime highs more typical of January than November.
Even South Texas was involved, where a Monday heat index in the low 90s was followed by a Tuesday morning wind chill in the low 30s.
As of early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service was forecasting over 360 additional daily cold records could be tied or set Tuesday through Thursday morning in the U.S., including both record lows and record cold high temperatures for a particular day.
Timing the Cold Blast
The next round of shivering temperatures arrived in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest Sunday and plunged quickly into the Southern Plains and Ohio Valley on Monday. The front will barrel through the East Coast and Deep South Tuesday, then through the rest of the Florida Peninsula by Wednesday.