CHANCES FOR RAIN INCREASE OVERNIGHT AS A COLD FRONT NEARS AND MOVES ACROSS THE NORTH EASTERN REGION.
Weather forecasters are warning NYC residents to prepare for an arctic blast which has already threatened 32 million Americans living in the Midwest and southern regions of the nation with ice and send temperatures sinking by as much as 50 degrees.
The worst of the ice storm should stretch from Texas through Arkansas and parts of Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky. Some places could get a half-inch or more of ice, enough to weigh down power lines and snap tree branches.
The rough weather will be accompanied by jarring drops in the temperature. In Lubbock, Texas, where it was almost 80 degrees on Wednesday and will be in the 10s tonight. In Lubbock on Friday.
Farther north and west, people face extreme cold and snow as temperatures are feared as low as minus 20 or worse in the northern midsection of the country, forecasters said. Snow totals could also approach 3 feet in northeastern Minnesota, where the weather has contributed to hundreds of traffic collisions around the state.
Colorado homeless shelters opened extra beds as temperatures in Denver were expected to drop just below zero through Friday but remain below 20 through the middle of next week. The storm dumped several inches of snow in Denver, and parts of Colorado's mountains could get up to 3 feet by the end of the day.
In North Dakota, the bitter cold predicted ranged from minus 9 degrees in Missoula to minus 27 in Butte and Shelby. In Montana, the cold spot will be the northern city of Havre, with low temperatures expected to dip as low as minus 30 between Thursday and Saturday. The city isn't expected to get warmer than minus 6 degrees during that period.
National Weather Service meteorologists do not recall this wave of cold weather since 1996. While the Northeast has escaped the worst of the weather so far, forecasters warn that it will be here on Sunday or Monday.