Folks living in the northern Plains and Midwest are being warned that the unusually warm weather they’ve enjoyed for the first half of January is about to change and quite dramatically. An arctic blast of frigid cold air is working its way into the country from Canada and by Sunday afternoon, people living along the border and into the Plains will see temperatures dip to single digits.
While those living in the Twin Cities in Minnesota are accustomed to cold weather, they have not seen any extreme cold temperatures for quite some time. That’s about to change as St. Paul and Minneapolis are going to be frigid cities to live in by the end of the weekend as the highs there will be hovering around zero and falling overnight to as low as -8. That’s cold.
This type of frigid weather is challenging to home owners as pipes can easily freeze inside a home and burst. Now is the time for anyone living in areas where the cold weather is being forecast to wrap pipes with insulation and to allow water to drip from faucets. Have a neighbor check on your home at least daily if you are going to be away to ensure that no pipes have broken. There’s nothing quite as devastating than to discover the thousands of gallons of icy cold water have inundated your home.
So how long is the cold weather going to stick around? The National Weather Service reports that the arctic cold will be brief over the northern part of the country because the cold front is moving quickly and there’s going to be plenty of cloud cover. By the middle of next week, temperature across the northern tier of the country should return to normal for this time of year. The news is not so good for the Midwest however. The cold temperatures are forecast to be more consistent there.
How will people in the East fare? The cold air that will arrive in the Midwest this coming weekend will begin to push further east. By Monday, temperatures in New York may fall to around 15 degrees above zero while Boston may seen 11, Philly 14 and Washington DC 16. The cold weather that’s being forecast for much of the country is leading to sharp increases in heating demands in many parts of the country which have not been seen so far this winter. As a result, the price of oil rose to it’s highest level in months in New York this week and natural gas which is used by about half of all US households, rose to a new 2-week high as a result of the forecasts for cold temperatures.