Arctic Blast Looms for Eastern US, Ending Week of Warm Weather

Cold temperatures weather
Pedro Ugarte | AFP | Getty Images

An arctic blast is due to hit the eastern part of the U.S., bringing the first freeze of the season for many areas following an unseasonably warm week.

Saturday's highs are expected to be 10 to 20 degrees below average from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast, according The Weather Channel.

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The blast of cold air is expected to arrive in the northern Plains on Thursday, with the front blowing across the Great Lakes and triggering the season's first lake-effect snow for Michigan and northern Indiana on Friday. The chill will spread spread through the eastern part of the U.S. by the weekend, forecasters predicted.

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The Weather Channel said that areas of the country which saw record highs Monday and Tuesday — which included Savannah, Georgia, and Rochester, New York — will see temperatures "plummet" by the weekend.

"The warmth of earlier this week is coming to an end," said Linda Lam, a digital meteorologist with The Weather Channel. "This is thanks to a cold front that will begin to plunge into the Great Lakes on Thursday night, bringing chilly temperatures and even some snow showers. This cold front will continue moving south and east, pushing off the East Coast by late Saturday. It will feel chilly and raw from the Midwest into the Southeast. It will be even chillier on Sunday morning in the South with the northern suburbs of Atlanta possibly dropping below freezing."

Record lows are also possible this weekend in St. Louis.