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Northeast braces for major temperature drop, while South digs out of snow

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The relatively brief reprieve the Northeast enjoyed from the bitter cold is coming to an end.

Winds are easing somewhat in the Northeast, allowing actual temperatures to drop even lower on Saturday as a cold front moves through the region. The actual temperatures will be near zero for much of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. A word of caution: Wind chills in some spots will be 10 to 20 degrees lower than that.

A significant storm bringing snow, freezing rain, sleet and heavy rain blanketed parts of the Tennessee and Ohio Valley on Friday, moved into the Northeast on Friday night and will head out of the U.S. by late Saturday morning. The storms caused numerous impacts on area roadways, creating a messy and dangerous Friday across parts of the region.

The heavy snow and ice caused major problems on several interstates. I-65 in parts of Kentucky had all southbound lanes closed on Friday night due to an accident. On I-24, near the Tennessee-Kentucky Border, two people were injured in a 10-vehicle crash. And on I-40 in Tennessee, numerous accidents closed the interstate in Henderson County. Four to 6 inches of snow was reported in parts of southwest Kentucky and Northwest Tennessee on Friday afternoon. Heavy snow, up to 3 inches in central Ohio, caused snow emergencies for several counties. Up to 7,000 people were reported without power in central Ohio due to downed power lines.

The combination of very mild air and heavy rain brought some flooding to parts of the Northeast on Friday, as well. Snow and ice that have accumulated over the past few weeks began to melt. Melting ice on rivers and creeks caused chunks of ice to cause jams -- also known as an "ice jam" -- backing up area rivers. In Buffalo, New York, a massive ice jam in the Cazenovia Creek caused flooding in the southern part of the metropolitan area. Near Syracuse, New York, flooding caused the evacuation of an assisted living facility due to rising water. In Meadville, Pennsylvania, an ice jam along the French Creek caused significant flooding, with inches of water in the city.

On Saturday morning, the storm is bringing heavy snow to parts of Pennsylvania and New York. By mid-morning Saturday, most of the snow will be falling north of the border in Southern Canada. The entire Northeast will be dry by Saturday afternoon.

Only a few or more inches of snow are expected from Pennsylvania to Maine, with locally over 6 inches of snow in northern New York state and Vermont.

This storm is bringing much colder air behind it. Temperatures are more than 40 degrees colder in spots than they were 24 hours ago. Saturday morning, it will feel like 60 degrees in Boston, but only 34 degrees in New York, and minus 2 degrees in Cleveland.

Later Saturday and tomorrow, a significant cold blast will overtake much of the eastern U.S. It will be much colder in New York and Boston Sunday morning. With area roadways wet on Saturday, some areas of black ice could develop.

The good news is this cold blast is not looking like it will stick around too long. In fact, a milder pattern looks to be in the forecast for the second half of January.

Sunday is looking cold but rather quiet across much of the nation -- a nice break after a turbulent week across much of the country.

Our next system develops in the central U.S. late Sunday night into Monday. At first, the system looks to bring a quick hit of snow along a cold front across parts of the south-central U.S., Great Lakes Region and into the Tennessee Valley again.

The system will be monitored as it evolves and as it heads toward the East Coast for mid-week. At this point, it is too early to determine what, if any, impacts this system could have on the East Coast. However, a period of unsettled weather certainly seems likely by Wednesday.

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Author: SL

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