This storm is expected to deliver ice, feet of snow, blizzard conditions and flooding downpours to an enormous swath of the eastern United States through Sunday morning.
"Behind this heavy snowstorm, an Arctic blast will grip much of the eastern U.S.," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards. "This cold air from the Arctic will dive down into the central Plains on Saturday and shift through the Northeast on Sunday."
As temperatures fall from near- to well below freezing in a matter of hours as the snow tapers off, any standing water, slush or snow on roads and sidewalks will freeze. This will make roads and sidewalks treacherous and difficult to clear. Travel is not recommended in the wake of the storm.
In addition to swiftly plummeting temperatures, gusty winds will make it feel even colder. As a result, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be below zero degrees Fahrenheit for much of the Midwest throughout the day on Sunday.
"Even short-term skin exposure to these temperatures can result in frostbite," Edwards warned. "Ensure proper winter clothing to protect yourself and prevent hypothermia if you must be outside."
Harsh RealFeel Temperatures will be largely contained to inland portions of the Northeast on Sunday. However, as the wind calms down overnight, temperatures will plummet into the single digits or lower by Monday morning in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Afternoon temperatures will not be much higher.
Meanwhile, residents of inland New England, New York and the mid-Atlantic will need to contend with subzero temperatures.
Any schools or businesses open on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day may remain closed due to the dangerously frigid weather and travel conditions.
Having just received at least several inches of snow, many of these communities may be without power and other basic services during this cold snap, as well. Proper preparation ahead of this event is key for both comfort and survival through the coming week.
Alternate heat sources, and the hazards that come with them, may be necessary. Anyone with livestock or outdoor pets should take all the necessary precautions to keep them safe and comfortable.
The colder air is anticipated to penetrate the length of the East Coast. The temperature could fall to 20 F in Raleigh and 30 F in Atlanta, with subfreezing conditions expected as far south as northern Florida.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Faith Eherts is an AccuWeather meteorologist.