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More winter storms and Arctic air are in the offing for the eastern and central United States after a brief spell of calmer weather through the middle of this week.
In the wake of the weekend snowstorm, dry weather will span most areas from the Plains to the East through at least Wednesday.
High temperatures will gradually trend upward during this time, rising back above normal by midweek. This means highs back into the middle 50s for Charlotte, North Carolina, and the lower and middle 40s for Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston.
The calmer conditions will give crews ample opportunity to complete snowstorm cleanup operations and allow travel to get back to normal.
In areas hit by the weekend snowstorm, motorists and those traveling by foot will have to remain alert for icy spots to form during the next few nights and early mornings due to a repeated cycle of daytime thaws and nighttime freezes.
For the Midwest, a fresh shot of Arctic air will put the breaks on the rebound in temperatures for Wednesday. Highs across a large part of the eastern Dakotas, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan can be held to the teens and single digits at midweek.
Similar temperatures are in store for the St. Lawrence Valley and most of northern New England as the cold shot invades the Northeast on Thursday.
The majority of the snow accompanying this cold blast may be confined to the upper Great Lakes and far northern New England. Snow showers and a few heavier squalls may sweep over the rest of the Great Lakes and the central Appalachians.
The threat for winter storms will then ramp up across the central and eastern U.S. starting later in the week.
While one storm may deliver a swath of snow or wintry mix from the lower Midwest states to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic Thursday into Friday, concern is growing for a more significant winter storm to follow on its heels from Friday into the new weekend.
While AccuWeather meteorologists will provide more details in the coming days, the latest indications point toward the storm sweeping snow and ice from the central Plains to a large swath of the Northeast.
If the storm tracks far enough to the south or the cold air catches up to the storm's rain, the Carolinas and/or spine of the southern Appalachians could deal with another round of disruptive wintry weather as rain soaks the rest of the South.
"Business, schools and travel will all be impacted from this storm," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
In the wake of this storm, temperatures can be held below zero F for two entire days in the far northern Plains around next Friday to Saturday.
"There can be temperature departures of 8 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit across the north-central U.S.," Pastelok said, "with lows at night plunging down between 6 and 12 degrees F below zero in the northern Plains and Upper Midwest."
While far from that extreme, colder-than-normal air may also pour into the East and South by the start of the third full week of January (the 21st) with more cold on the horizon.
"There will be no rest for the weary with another storm approaching the East between Jan. 22 and 23, which pulls some cold air into the region," Pastelok said. He added that another storm may be on its heels for the end of that week.
Very cold air can be pulled south from the Midwest to the Appalachians around the last weekend of January, according to Pastelok.
"Even the Deep South can feel the impacts of this cold push with freezing morning overnight lows reaching the Gulf coast," he said.
Residents, especially those in the north-central and northeastern U.S., who caught a break from higher heating costs earlier this winter may be paying it back in the coming weeks.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see what the long-term temperature trend is for your area.