One thing is for certain, the cold is coming. This cold outbreak has the potential to shatter many long-standing record low temperatures. Back in 1977, in a similar cold outbreak, it actually snowed in the northern suburbs of Miami momentarily. The flurries will not likely make it that far south this time, but they could be momentarily flying across sections of northern Florida. Notice the black line. That is a rough estimate of where the rain-snow line will be. There is some precipitation on the northern side of this line, and that would be in Jacksonville.
After this Arctic front pushes through, much of the nation will be in the deep freeze. Nighttime lows will be below 0 F for many. Daytime highs will struggle to get out of the 10s for many and 20s in the South. Single digit lows could be observed as far south as Atlanta.
What about snow? It is expected to be cold, but dry. There is no real moisture source to work with. Also, there is no high latitude blocking in the upper-air patterns. Therefore, the storm system on 1/3 and 1/4 will likely be allowed to “escape” out to sea. Any snow forecasts that you see right now will likely be bogus, since this system will not likely affect land, but rather remain offshore.
Notice where the low is in the image of the GFS below. It is offshore and there is no snow or anything for the East Coast. It is just a bitter cold but dry air mass.
There could be a reprieve from the cold around the 6 or 7th. By this time, the cold is not expected to be as severe.
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