Large portions of the United States are forecast to be hit by dangerously low temperatures and heavy snowfall in the week leading up to Christmas, potentially affecting the travel plans of millions of people.
Meteorologist Zack Taylor of the National Weather Service predicted, “We’re looking at much-below-normal temperatures, potentially record-low temperatures leading up to the Christmas holiday.”
A previous storm system in the northeastern United States is gradually winding down after leaving behind two feet (61 centimeters) of snow in some areas. This is when the polar air begins to move in. As of Sunday morning, more than 80,000 people in New England were still without power, as reported by poweroutage.us.
“extreme and prolonged freezing conditions for southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana,” the National Weather Service warned in a special weather statement on Sunday.
By Thursday night, the National Weather Service forecasts that Jackson, Mississippi, will experience a low of 13 degrees (minus 10.6 Celsius), while Nashville, Tennessee, will experience a low of around 5 degrees (minus 15 Celsius).
The Winter Weather Will Worsen Before It Improves For Most Of The United States
New forecasts from the federal Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, indicate that “the coldest air of the season” may arrive in the coming week as the strong arctic front moves across the eastern two-thirds of the country in the days before Christmas.
In a statement, the center predicted a “massive expanse of frigid temperatures from the Northern Rockies/Northern Plains to the Midwest through the middle of the week, and then reaching the Gulf Coast and much of the Eastern U.S. by Friday and into the weekend.”
Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, LaSalle, Kankakee, Grundy, and DeKalb counties in Illinois are under a Winter Storm Watch from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Highs around 30 degrees are predicted for Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday, but severe winter weather is on the way for Thursday and Friday.
CBS Chicago reports that subzero temperatures, gusty winds, and snow are in the forecast for the city. CBS Chicago predicts that both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will see temperatures in the single digits, with wind chills well below zero. Expected wind speeds in the area could reach 55 mph, which could result in temporary or permanent power outages.
CBS Minnesota reports that the Twin Cities will see temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero. The high temperature on Tuesday will be a chilly seven degrees, and snowfall of 4-8 inches is predicted for Wednesday, according to CBS Minnesota. CBS Minnesota reports that while the snow should stop falling on Thursday, winds of up to 50 miles per hour could whip the snow off the ground, creating whiteout conditions. It may be the same on Friday, with wind chills reaching as low as minus 45 degrees.
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He claimed that many of the homeless who succumb to the winter’s chill did so because they were fighting addiction or a severe mental illness, or because they lacked the trust to seek refuge in a group setting like a shelter.
People living on the streets in the South are especially vulnerable to the region’s erratic weather, which can be warm one week and bitterly cold the next.
“The temperature itself isn’t a major factor,” Chidi emphasized. Specifically, “it’s the rate at which the temperature drops.”
Even though it won’t snow in Florida on Christmas, the entire state is expected to experience unusually low temperatures over the holiday weekend, according to meteorologists.
Highs of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit are expected on Christmas Day in northern Florida cities like Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola, with lows in the 20s (-3 degrees Celsius) (4 Celsius).
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A Massive Storm Over The Holidays Could Affect Millions Of People
Due to the cold air, a major winter storm will develop, potentially disrupting holiday travel plans for the central and eastern United States this week.
Beginning on Tuesday, this major winter storm will develop, bringing with it heavy snow, strong winds (which could cause blizzard conditions), rain, and even colder temperatures.
First falling in the Rockies, the snow will intensify as it moves eastward toward the Midwest, where the blizzard will cause the most damage. As of Thursday night, this area will experience snowfall that will continue through the majority of the Christmas holiday weekend.
Jackson, Mississippi, and other cities in the Lower Mississippi Valley may even see snow showers as the heavy snowfall moves southward from the Midwest.
Chicago is expected to be severely impacted, and the local National Weather Service office has issued a blizzard watch.
Visibility is reduced to a quarter of a mile or less for at least three hours during a blizzard if snow is falling or blowing and the wind speed is at least 35 miles per hour.
Conditions are expected to deteriorate rapidly by late Thursday afternoon, with dangerous blizzard conditions appearing increasingly likely Thursday night and Friday, according to the Chicago office of the National Weather Service.
The chances of a white Christmas for millions of people across the country have increased thanks to this major storm. Snowfall in some locations was practically guaranteed given the persistently cold weather.
However, this week will bring a fresh blanket of powder that will cover the Midwest and Northern Plains. In addition, “parts of Ohio and Indiana, they could very well end up with a higher probability of a white Christmas,” Carbin said.
It’s possible that even southern states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee will see snow on Christmas Day.