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East Braces for First Cold Spell as Midwest Cleans Up After Historic Flooding

As the Midwest struggled to clear debris and salvage what was left behind after days of historic flooding, the eastern part of the country prepared Sunday for the first cold snap of what has been a strangely warm season.

As if cued by the new year, below-average temperatures will have a good portion of residents in the East bundling up for the first time since late last winter.

An arctic front pushed into the Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley and Northeast on Sunday, just about a week after many parts of the regions experienced the warmest Christmas Eve on record, according to The Weather Channel.

In the beginning of the workweek, highs will be 5 to 10 degrees colder than early January averages from the eastern Great Lakes to New England, most of which saw record-breaking warmth in December, said Chris Friedman, national editor of The Weather Channel.

"Because it was warmer in December, it's going to feel a lot colder. It's going to feel more like 15 to 20 degrees below average," Friedman said.

New England and upstate New York will see the coldest temperatures Monday and Tuesday, with single-digit highs.

The gloves and scarves might not have to stay out for long, though, as meteorologists considering that El Niño year norms say the East will warm up again for the first half of January but then cool down again toward the end of the month. Beyond January, the Northeast should expect above-average temperatures, while it's the South that will get colder-than-usual air, according to Weather Channel projections.

Meanwhile, the lower Mississippi Valley could see flooding into the middle of January as the floodwaters, which left more than two dozen people dead in the Midwest last week, move downstream, according to the National Weather Service.

Midwest faces massive cleanup as floods recede 1:20

The flooding, incited by more than 10 inches of rain in three days, plowed through levees and swept away homes, leaving behind the most damage in Missouri and Illinois.

Sunday, Illinois authorities recovered the body of a missing 18-year-old man who was in a truck with another teenager when the vehicle was swept away by floodwaters, killing both, according to Illinois Emergency Management. The discovery brought the state's death toll from the flooding to 10, while Missouri's stood at 15.

President Barack Obama on Saturday signed a federal emergency declaration for Missouri, which allows for federal aid and Federal Emergency Management Agency relief efforts to be funneled to the state.