Lows of zero degrees Fahrenheit for Chicago and single-digit readings from Washington to Boston are possible by next week, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.
Average temperatures in the eastern U.S. are expected to be at least 3 degrees below normal from Minnesota to Alabama and across the East from Jan. 20 to 24, said Rogers, based in Bethesda, Maryland. That would be followed by a more widespread and intense outbreak of cold from Jan. 25 to 29.
The cold will be pushed into the U.S. and central Canada by a ridge of warm high pressure that’s expected to form over Alaska, according to forecasters.
"The main concern for a significant late-January cold outbreak has been focused on the Jan. 27 work week per consensus and consistency from various models for that period as Alaskan ridging resurges," Rogers said in his outlook today. "However, modeling has recently started to shift more aggressive with a preliminary cold push late next week."
There is a chance above-normal temperatures will dominate Alaska from Jan. 20 to 28, while lower readings spread throughout the East, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Low temperatures in Chicago will hover in the teens for most of this week, the National Weather Service said. A blizzard warning is in effect today across parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
A week ago, temperatures across much of the Midwest fell well below zero and single-digit readings reached far into the South. The cold contributed to thousands of flights being canceled, a boost in energy demand and disruptions for refineries and pipelines.
Below-normal temperatures, especially in Eastern and Midwestern cities, tend to increase energy consumption as more people heat homes and businesses.
As colder weather threatens the eastern U.S., higher-than- normal temperatures are expected across California from today through the weekend and may even set records there, Rogers said.