Temperatures have begun plunging across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest as a potent cold front pushes southward, bringing unseasonably frigid air behind it.
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Highs will be in the mid-40s to low-50s behind the front on Thursday.
Breezy conditions will follow with the passage of the front and gusts may reach 20-30 miles per hour.
Lake-effect showers are also in the forecast for the Upper Great Lakes as a result of the cold, northwest flow across the warmer lake water.
Some wet snow may mix in for higher elevations of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Thursday night, though no accumulation is expected.
Frigid morning lows will follow Friday morning, with widespread temperatures below freezing across the area, dipping as low as the upper teens for portions of North Dakota.
Freeze warnings are currently in effect for North Dakota and portions of western South Dakota, with a Freeze Watch in place for most of the rest of South Dakota.
The chilly temperatures will spread further south and east on Friday as the front progresses.
Widespread highs generally in the mid-50s to low 60s are forecast from the Lower Great Lakes into the Midwest, Mid-Mississippi Valley, and Central Plains.
Highs will remain even cooler to the north as a strong Canadian high presses southward, with mid- to upper 40s expected for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes.
More lows near freezing are possible Saturday morning for the Great Lakes Region and Upper Mississippi Valley.
Temperatures will be at or above average ahead of the front, with highs in the low 70s for the coastal Northeast, upper 70s to mid-80s for the Southeast and Florida, and upper 80s to low 90s for the Southern Plains.
Some lingering drier air in the Southeast will lead to some chilly morning lows Friday morning with temperatures dipping into the upper 40s to low 50s for the Carolinas south into Georgia and Alabama.
Temperatures for much of this area will begin to drop in future forecasts into the weekend as the cold front presses on.
Further west, daily showers and thunderstorms will continue across the Southern Rockies and High Plains as well as eastern portions of the Southwest on the east side of a lingering upper-level low drifting over the Southwest and on the north side of a stationary boundary along the U.S./Mexico border.
Anomalously high moisture that remains pooled across the area will help enhance storm rainfall rates and totals, and isolated instances of flash flooding are possible, particularly for areas of sensitive terrain and across burn scars.
High temperatures will remain below normal with mid-60s to low 70s expected.
Pleasant conditions will persist across the rest of the West as an upper-level ridge remains in place over the West Coast.
High temperatures will continue to be well-above average by about 10-20 degrees in the Pacific Northwest, with highs forecast in the upper 70s to low 80s, and even as high as 90 in the Rogue Valley of Oregon.
Elsewhere, highs are forecast in the 70s along the Pacific Coast, in the upper 70s to low 80s for the Great Basin, in the low 90s for the central California valleys, and in the mid-90s to 100 degrees in the Desert Southwest. ■