Brutal cold expected to freeze two-thirds of country into New Year

A white Christmas for much of the Northeast and Midwest has given way to bitter cold until the New Year. Meteorologists are warning of sub-zero arctic air and dangerously cold wind chills.

Frigid conditions are expected in many parts of the country this week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley said Chicago residents can expect colder-than-normal temperatures. Temperatures hovered around zero degrees in Chicago on Tuesday. 

Wind chill advisories or warnings are in effect for all of North Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as swaths of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana. Parts of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York are also under advisories.

Meteorologists say frostbite is possible with as little as 30 minutes of exposure.

Brutally cold temperatures are expected in the Boston area, and EMS workers say they are prepared: Every ambulance will be loaded with heat packs to combat cold-related ailments, CBS Boston reports.

Meanwhile, further down the East Coast, crews were treating bridges and overpasses with brine in the Raleigh area as a precaution in case parts of the Carolinas have winter precipitation this week. The North Carolina Department of Transportation was sending 12 trucks out to pre-treat elevated roadway structures in Wake County on Tuesday and could expand its efforts Wednesday if the snow stays in the forecast.

Image via @weatherbell

The National Weather Service in Raleigh said light frozen precipitation including freezing rain was possible, especially for areas south and east of Fayetteville and Goldsboro through Wednesday morning. The northeastern part of South Carolina could also see light frozen precipitation later this week.

To the west, forecasters say frigid air could make conditions right for a wintry mix Thursday in a swath across western North Carolina and the South Carolina Upstate.

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States from Montana and the Dakotas to Wisconsin expected wind chill temperatures of 40 below zero in some spots, the National Weather Service said. The upper half of Iowa and northern Illinois also braced for subzero temperatures.

Minnesota experienced its most frigid Christmas Day since 1996, with wind chills as cold as 35 degrees below zero, forecasters said. The National Weather Service warned that those whose skin was exposed to such conditions could get frostbite in as little as 15 minutes.

Read more at CBSNews

Bitter cold settles into New England for the rest of 2017

The snow may be over for now, but New Englanders should brace for bitter cold through the remainder of the week and into the weekend, as an arctic air mass brings dry air and frigid temperatures to the region.

A large high-pressure system from central Canada is expected to settle into the area for the coming days, keeping temperatures below freezing for the rest of 2017 and well below average readings for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service.

Highs Tuesday will be in the 20s throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts, with parts of Western Massachusetts hovering in the teens, the weather service said.

And that’s likely to be the warmest day of the week.

Read more at Boston Globe

Unforgiving cold snap will engulf eastern two-thirds of the nation through New Year’s Day

The extreme cold over the north-central United States on Tuesday will ooze into the Northeast by Thursday, when the National Weather Service predicts record-cold high temperatures from the Delmarva to New England, from the 20s south to the single digits north.

But it’s the surge of cold that follows, expected to be unleashed this weekend and to continue into early next week, that may be even more severe — particularly in the central United States.

Jason Furtado, a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma, described the forecast as “about as anomalously cold as it gets” in a tweet.

The same areas of North Dakota and Minnesota witnessing minus-40 windchills Tuesday may see these levels plummet to between minus-50 and minus-60 by the weekend.

Taylor Trogdon, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, tweeted that the American model is forecasting some of the most extreme cold “ever observed” in central Missouri, with highs below zero and lows near minus-20 around New Year’s Eve.

This frigid air may well expand east into the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast by New Year’s Day or shortly thereafter.

The cold waves, together, could become noteworthy for their intensity and duration. The National Weather Service is calling for New York City’s average temperature over the next seven days to be around 19 degrees, which is about 10 degrees below average.

Read more at Washington Post

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