Icy cold not going away soon

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

updated 10:00 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • In Southern California, they’re on wildfire watch with warm, dry winds
  • Lows in the teens dot the weather map in most of the rest of the country
  • As far south as Tupelo, Mississippi, the low should hit 9 degrees Monday night
  • There will be snow but not as much as in the first arctic blast

(CNN) — Got that winter coat out? Keep it out, because icy cold is here to stay for about a week.

That freeze blast last week — it got refueled with another round of arctic air.

And it’s creeping toward the Northeast and down to the Deep South, northern Texas, and the desert Southwest, the National Weather Service says.

It will get at least as cold this week in Memphis, Tennessee — which should see a low of 11 degrees Fahrenheit overnight Monday — as in Albany, New York, where the low will hit 16 the next night.

Why is it so cold?

What is a Polar Vortex?

Single digits are striking this week as far south as Tupelo, Mississippi — 9 degrees overnight Monday. And low temperatures in the teens litter a large part of the country’s weather map on a few nights.

Daytime highs won’t bring much relief, not even in the Southeast, where they should be 25-30 degrees below normal, the weather service said.

Snow

The front is expected to lay down snow from parts of Kentucky through New York State, and freezing rain from Tennessee to the lower Midwest and parts of Maine.

Some places in the Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes could see 4-6 inches of snow, CNN meteorologists said. The western side of Michigan could get up to 8 inches.

But this blast won’t be the snow maker the last one was.

The freeze should let up before the end of the week for the southern parts of the country, but not for most of the rest.

By Wednesday, most of the eastern two thirds of the country will rebound to only 15 degrees below the seasonal average.

SoCal wildfire weather

If you’re in Southern California, it will feel like you live in a parallel universe to the rest of the country. Conditions will be ripe for wildfires.

Yes, possibly wildfires in November.

Highs in the 70s, perhaps up to 80 degrees, and dry, gusty winds are behind it. They will sap the air of moisture, and if a spark ignites, they could push the flames across the landscape.

Wind and warmth will “contribute to extreme fire behavior,” the weather service said, which issued a red flag warning, the highest alert. The state’s wildfire fighting authority Cal Fire has put more firefighters on duty.

It has also asked that residents not mow dry grass, pull a vehicle over onto it, toss cigarette butts on it — and not to target shoot in undesignated areas, especially not at metal targets, which could make sparks fly.

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