20 percent of nation predicted to be below zero Saturday morning

A woman passes an ice-covered fountain in New York's Bryant Park, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. Frigid temperatures, some that could feel as cold as minus 30 degrees, moved across the East Coast on Friday as the region attempted to clean up from a massive winter storm. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

It's one thing to be below freezing; it's another to go below zero. But 20 percent of the nation is expected to drop below the zero mark Saturday morning as an impressive arctic blast continues to grip much of America.

It should make for another round of some upside-down temperature readings. Consider Friday morning, it was a pretty routine day in the Pacific Northwest with a low of 44 in Seattle and 46 degrees in Vancouver, B.C. and about 33 in Juneau, Alaska.

But it was just 35 in New Orleans... and just 31 degrees in Orlando! That was about on par with McMurdo Station on the outer rim of the Antarctic Shelf, which reported a temperature of 32 degrees Friday morning. (Yes, it's not quite at the South Pole; yes, it's summer there and yes, they have 24 hour daylight. But still, it's Antarctica!)

Even colder air is moving in for Saturday and this map shows the expected low temperatures. Anything in the teals to pinks inside the purple bands are expected temperatures below zero Saturday. While 76.3 percent of the nation is expected to be below freezing (including the southeast and Florida panhandle again), a whopping 19.7% are predicted to be below zero.

That could legitimately compete for being colder than the South Pole. Temperature readings there were just a few degrees below zero and forecasted "lows" (although with near constant sunlight temperatures don't follow a day/night trend in the mid-latitudes) anywhere on the continent were about on par with New England. Note the similar colors and at least at 7 a.m. EST the coldest spot on that continent is predicted to be -19.9 degrees.

The forecast model predicts lows of -20 to -23 in parts of New England.

It's probably the one time penguins would be somewhat comfortable roaming around Lake Placid.

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