Dangerously cold temperatures are about to sweep across the United States from tomorrow and unfortunately, Chicago and the Midwest are set to be hit the hardest.
An arctic blast will blow across Canada and make its way down through the Midwest and down to the south bringing sudden country-wide temperature drops.
According to the National Weather Service “an arctic cold front arriving later this week will bring dangerous cold to much of the country, along with sudden, rapid temperature drop, snow squalls in portions of the West, and the potential for flash freezes from MidSouth to the East Coast.”
Due to the jet stream, much of the country will see daytime lows ranging from 0 to -15 while CNN reports that “temperatures will drop so low in some places that frostbite could begin in as little as five minutes on exposed skin.”
There’s a good chance of a potential blizzard and more than a foot of snow in the Chicago area.
The weather service recommends avoiding extended time outdoors and covering exposed skin at all times. Pipes and other parts of building exteriors should be covered up for the next week at least due to being at risk from well below freezing temps and windy conditions.
With up to 50mph wind gusts expected across Chicago on Friday, there could also be power outages in many parts of the city.
Weather forecasts are predicting blizzards and heavy snowfall across the Midwest where the biggest impacts from the storm will be felt. According to CNN, “the expected high on Christmas Day in Chicago is 12. That would make it the coldest Christmas in Chicago since 1996.”
Indianapolis, meanwhile, it reports, “has a forecast high of 13 degrees, which could be their coldest Christmas since 1985 – nearly 40 years!”
Other places like Minneapolis and North Dakota will also likely spend several days below zero from Wednesday onwards with wind chills having the potential to drop as low as 60 degrees below zero.
If you have any holiday travel plans this week the weather service advises changing plans and avoiding driving on roads for the next week the dangerous weather will likely bring holiday travel to a standstill.
As ever, you can head to the National Weather Service website for all the latest weather forecasts and warnings.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]