The countdown to Thanksgiving is on, but it doesn’t feel anything like mid-November across much of the eastern half of the US.
Record highs are possible Tuesday afternoon from Illinois to Maine and as far south as Florida as temperatures soar 20 to 30 degrees above normal, continuing a trend that has been in place for much of the past week.
Over 150 record high temperatures are possible this week, according to CNN Meteorologist Dave Hennen. Numerous records were set over the weekend and on Monday across the central and eastern US, with many more expected over the next couple of days.
Temperatures through Wednesday will reach into the mid- and upper-70s across the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast thanks to a large ridge of high pressure along the mid-Atlantic coast. This ridge is responsible for creating strong southerly and southwesterly winds which are bringing warm air all the way into southern Canada.
Caribou, Maine, just a few miles from the Canadian border, is expecting a high of 74 degrees Tuesday and a low temperature around 50. Their average high temperature for November 10 is 41 degrees.
After waking up to a morning temperature in the mid 60s, Chicago will see an afternoon high around 75 — well above the average of 52. Chicago will definitely live up to its Windy City nickname as a stiff breeze will blow at 20 to 30 mph all day with gusts over 40 mph.
Like most November warm spells, a cold reality is right around the corner. The Great Lakes will come crashing back to average temperatures on Wednesday as highs will struggle to reach 50 degrees in Chicago.
The warmth will survive through Wednesday in the Northeast with temperatures in the upper 60s and 70s producing another dozen records. The Northeast will see a bit more of a gradual decrease in temperatures as highs will fall into the 50s and low 60s on Thursday, followed by 50s on Friday.
From record warmth to record cold
While the east is seeing temperatures well above normal, farther west the story will be the record-breaking cold temperatures.
Winter weather advisories and warnings are impacting nearly nine million people from Nebraska to Michigan. This includes places like Minneapolis where 4 to 6 inches of snow is expected. Some areas from Nebraska to southern Minnesota could see a wintry mix, with freezing rain before changing over to snow.
The icy mix will create treacherous road conditions and the potential for power outages.
The winter weather should begin Tuesday afternoon and last through much of the overnight before coming to an end before daybreak on Wednesday.
Highs will also be in the low 30s across much of the northern Midwest and Northern Plains through the end of the workweek, before finally warming slightly by Saturday.
Possible tornadoes and hail for the Midwest
The same cold front that will bring cold temperatures will also bring the potential for severe weather in the Midwest. From Missouri to Iowa, and even Illinois and Wisconsin, severe storms are possible.
Places like Milwaukee, Madison and western Chicago suburbs are all in the risk area. The potential for severe storms is a level 2 out of 5.
The main threat will be damaging winds and hail, but there is a possibility of tornadoes as well. The risk for severe weather will begin around mid-afternoon Tuesday and last through the evening hours. The storm system will quickly move out of the area on Wednesday.