Cold, snow will blast Southeast; arctic temps to remain in Midwest

Posted at 9:32 AM, Jan 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-27 11:42:05-05

By Ralph Ellis

(CNN) — It’s time to bundle up in the sunny South.

A wave of arctic air that settled over the Midwest and the Plains is expected to spread into the Southeast late Monday, bringing a chance of snow to several major cities by Tuesday.

In normally balmy New Orleans, there’s a 30% chance of rain and sleet Monday night, a 70% chance of freezing rain Tuesday and an 80% chance of wintery mix Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Atlanta will see the mercury drop into the low 20s Monday and Tuesday nights with a 30 to 40% chance of snow Tuesday. In Montgomery, Alabama, there’s a 40% chance of snow Tuesday.

Call it weather whiplash: Dallas will experience a dramatic 30-to-40 degree temperature plunge, going from around 80 on Sunday to the high 30s on Monday, reported CNN affiliate WFAA. No precipitation is expected. In New Orleans, the temperature will drop from around 60 on Monday to 30 on Monday night.

People in Washington, D.C., probably won’t see snow, but they’ll feel the cold. Temps will drop to 7 degrees Monday night with the wind chill telling you it’s even colder, as in negative 8 degrees. Tuesday will warm up only a little.

“Welcome to my world,” the Midwest and Great Plains will say.

Much of northern Plains, Midwest and Northeast will likely shiver through daytime high temperatures 10 to 30 degrees below normal through Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Chicago could see a high temperature of minus-5 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday and minus-3 on Tuesday, with wind chill values of around negative 30 degrees.

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle could be very dicey.

In Wisconsin, the state department of transportation is urging people to avoid driving if possible. If they must drive, they should carry a fully charged cell phone, have at least half a tank of gasoline and tell somebody where they’re going.

In Milwaukee, two motorists seconded that advice.

“It’s going to be pure ice. It’s all fluffy and light snow like this and it’s going to melt down — going to be a mess,” Gary Lukowitz told CNN affiliate WITI.

“Even though you see the streets are plowed and it’s still slippery out there — still a lot of wet snow on the ground, still freezing and cars are still slipping around,” Adam Bernstein said.

In South Dakota, officials said white-out conditions with zero to near zero visibility, icy roads and blowing and drifting snow are making safe travel almost impossible along the I-29 corridor and throughout most of the northeast and eastern part of the state.

They have closed Interstate 29 from the I-90 junction at Sioux Falls to Brookings because of blizzard conditions. I-29 was also closed from the South Dakota border to Canada in North Dakota.

Authorities in Minnesota are advising no travel in the southern and western parts of the state, where several roads are closed.

White-out conditions could also be found in Hazleton, Iowa, said CNN iReporter Danny Murphy. He shot a video of the very white weather.

“Rural areas around here are suffering from near whiteout and blizzard conditions causing for very hazardous travel,” he said.

CNN’s Jareen Imam contributed to this report.

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