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Quick-hitting cold, strong winds to pierce midwestern, northeastern US this weekend

November 17, 2017; 6:44 AM

A brief shot of cold air and biting winds will force residents of the midwestern and northeastern United States to bundle up this weekend.

Frequent changes will occur in the Northeast into the week of Thanksgiving, according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

Temperatures will swing back and forth between typical mild, mid-November levels and feeling more like the middle to late December.

The temperature swings will take place ahead of and in the wake of frequent storms that threaten to disrupt millions of Thanksgiving travelers.

A system that will sweep in from the Plains and bring a period of rain into Sunday will be followed by a strong push of chilly air into the Northeast and even some snow downwind of the Great Lakes.

Sunday RealFeel 11.18 PM

After permeating the western Great Lakes, including Chicago, on Saturday, the chill will hurriedly advance toward the Eastern Seaboard at the end of the weekend.

Even a portion of the Deep South will get in on the cooler conditions with temperatures dropping up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit from Saturday to Sunday.

"Sunday is going to be a windy, cold day across the Great Lakes and into the Appalachians," Abrams said.

The day started mild across New England and along the Interstate 95 corridor with temperatures mainly in the 50s F, but temperatures will drop throughout the afternoon as the colder air invades.

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Factoring in the wind and other weather variables, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be in the 10s, 20s and 30s F for much of the day across the Northeast.

"Strong winds combined with the cold air [will raise] energy use again significantly in the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

Winds Northeast Sunday 11.19 AM

Winds can gust as high as 50 mph into Sunday afternoon.

"[This] can lead to broken tree limbs and power outages," Pastelok said.

Motorists getting a head start on holiday travel will need to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel to avoid veering into other driving lanes. Airline passengers flying in and out of the major hubs will face enhanced turbulence.

The chill will gradually ease across the Northeast early next week prior to another wave of cold arriving by Thanksgiving. However, winds are not anticipated to be nearly as harsh with this next cold sweep.

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