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Polar opposites

Record cold East; blazing heat out West.
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Posted at 4:55 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 16:55:38-04

Two coasts, two extremes. It's a weather map divided. And Kentucky is on the colder side of things. Let's break it down. A lobe of the polar vortex (yes, the very same one that can bring frigid wintertime temperatures) will unload a late-season blast of Arctic air. All-time coldest May temperatures are in jeopardy across the Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and Northeast Saturday morning. This system will also bring heavy snow, even thundersnow to parts of New England. Meanwhile, the West will roast as a pumped up ridge keeping the record setting heat going.

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Hot on the heels of today's steady rain, temperatures will plummet overnight as clouds break and the wind relaxes. We'll be in the mid to upper 20s Saturday morning. Lexington's daily record low will easily be broken. The all-time coldest May temperature is also in jeopardy - 26° set on May 10, 1966. The mercury has fallen below 30° only one other time, and that happened in 1963. This is truly an historic outbreak of cold air.

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This will be a widespread damaging freeze. A Freeze Warning will be in effect for the entire area through Saturday morning. Plants, flowers, crops, and other sensitive vegetation will need to be protected. This would be Lexington's second latest hard freeze (May 10, 1966 holds the top spot). The latest freeze date is May 20, 1894. And it won't be just tonight. Another frost or freeze is likely Saturday night into Sunday morning.