The country will be pummeled by a stint of freezing arctic air on Sunday, which is expected to carry through the middle of the week.
Most of the United States finds itself in the midst of a weather pattern that has brought cold air from Siberia across the North Pole into North America. A now-dissipating winter storm that produced a brutal bout of snow and freezing rain this weekend siphoned in that arctic air behind it, carrying it south and eastward.
"We're seeing temperatures falling off below zero down into the Chicago area across Missouri and out into the Central Plains into Kansas and westward into the Central Rockies," said Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Frank Giannasca. "There is some very, very cold air."
Even normally warmer regions of the country are experiencing below freezing temperatures, as much of Texas had not yet reached as high as 20 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-morning on Sunday, and the greater South was expected to see temperatures plummet as much as 20 to 30 degrees.
Meanwhile, cities along the East Coast were enjoying milder temperatures in the 50s and 60s on Sunday, but those temperatures are expected to drop drastically by Monday morning once the Arctic air moves east. The high will be expected at 29 degrees.
But the country will begin to warm up throughout the week as temperatures will rise and might even crack freezing by Tuesday in the Midwest and by either Wednesday or Thursday on the East Coast.
Thankfully for commuters, forecasters do not believe there will be much precipitation during this particular cold spell, dispelling fears of the traffic accidents that wreaked havoc in Baltimore and other parts of the country over the weekend.
"Today is the coldest day across the country, but there will be a moderating trend as we go through the week," Giannasca said. "That'll be a welcome change."
But on Sunday, folks in the Midwest were checking the mercury before the Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers game that started at 1 p.m. The fiery rivalry is unlikely to warm up what experts had predicted would be the coldest game in Chicago history.
The game time temperature was expected to settle around zero degrees Fahrenheit, which would be colder than the current record holder of a mild two degrees in Dec. 2008 — according to NBC Chicago. But half an hour after kickoff the temperature on the field was recorded at a balmy 8 degrees.
The Bears have been practicing outside in freezing temperatures to prepare for the game and a number of players declared they would be playing without sleeves on Sunday. Their coach, John Fox, questioned the decision.
"I've told them that I think macho stuff is all great, but there comes a point where people might question your intelligence," Fox told the media on Thursday.