Temperature divide has more than 100 records in jeopardy

powerful and disruptive winter storm that has impacted millions of people from coast-to-coast has led to a dramatic temperature divide across the country that is breaking records.

There’s been an area of high pressure settled across the Southeast, which aided in the development of the storm that’s impacting the Northeast and New England after slamming the Plains and Upper Midwest with heavy snow, blizzard conditions and icing.

That area of high pressure is also allowing for warm air to expand across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, leading to the possibility that more than 100 record-high temperatures could be broken through the weekend.

More than 80 records are in jeopardy of being broken Thursday in an area stretching from the Gulf Coast and Southeast into the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic.

In fact, parts of Florida could break February records that have stood for years, with high temperatures away from the coast climbing into the 90s through the weekend.

Map of US
A powerful winter storm is impacting millions of people and has led to significant changes in temperature across various parts of the country.

Orlando, Florida, has only hit 90 degrees in February three times since 1892:

  • Feb. 15, 1935
  • Feb. 24, 1962
  • Feb. 25, 1962

The forecast calls for a high temperature of 91 degrees on Thursday and at or near 90 degrees through the weekend.

More records are expected on Friday, with most of those in danger of falling in the Sunshine State.

Other records could be broken in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Alabama.

In the West, bitterly cold arctic air has returned with a vengeance.

A strong cold front dropped into the US from Canada, sending temperatures plunging across the Northwest, portions of the West Coast and parts of the Rocky Mountains.

Dangerous wind chills have also been reported, and those conditions are expected to last through at least Saturday.

Map of US West Coast
The deep dive in temperature entering the U.S. has sent temperatures plunging and even blizzard warnings across the majority of the West Coast.

Glasgow, Montana, could experience a wind chill value of negative 35 degrees, while Bismarck, North Dakota, could feel like it’s negative 33 degrees on Saturday morning.

Los Angeles, which is expecting a powerful storm starting Thursday that has prompted rare blizzard warnings in area mountains, will likely see a high temperature in the low 50s on Thursday.

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