Nearly the entire eastern half of the United States is enduring bitterly low temperatures not experienced since 1985. Even Florida, which has been hovering around freezing levels overnight recently, is also feeling the almost-nationwide chill.
"It'll be like the great winters of the 1960s and 1970s," said AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist and Expert Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi. The last time a large swath of severely low temperatures struck the nation was in January 1985. That historic arctic outbreak had below-zero temperatures Fahrenheit stretching from Chicago eastward to New York City, and all the way south to Macon, Ga.
This winter has already been rough for many areas of the country, with several blizzards dumping high accumulations of snow upon the Plains, mid-Atlantic and New England.
The cold air currently streaming across the Upper Midwest into the East and South will only compound the winter problems of the nation, especially since these depths have not been experienced across such a wide area simultaneously in decades.