An enormous swath of arctic air will seep into the lower 48 states in the next few days. The surge of bitterly cold air is predicted to yield an immense winter storm. That expected winter storm has the propensity to affect upwards of 50 million United States residents while also impacting holiday travel plans.
Data from the National Weather Service (NWS) revealed that in the next few days, most US states will see temperatures plummet to below-freezing temperatures. Some states are already feeling the arctic air’s frigid impact. This morning, Bismarck, North Dakota experienced temperatures as low as -2 degrees Fahrenheit, and in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it wasn’t much warmer, with temperatures hovering at the 0 degrees Fahrenheit mark, reported ABC7.
The winter storm is expected to form in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. After impacting those regions, it is predicted to move to the northeastern quadrant of the United States. At this point, it is too early to predict based on radar and satellite data the specific conditions and snowfall totals that will occur, but meteorologists are warning folks ahead of time to be prepared for serious travel delays as a result of the impending winter storm.
Moreover, areas of the US that are not normally impacted by bitterly cold weather or winter storms will get a prolonged taste of the incoming arctic chill. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, for instance, will likely experience record-breaking low temperatures, according to Axios. On the bright side, the NWS did point out that many areas of the country could experience their first white Christmases since the early 1980s!
While a white Christmas will undoubtedly be a splendid sight for many to see, this winter storm, coupled with plummeting temperatures, should not be taken lightly. The NWS is advising individuals to plan ahead and accordingly for travel delays. Some of its advice includes staying abreast of the weather forecasts as you travel, winterizing your vehicle, and bringing along an emergency travel kit just in case.
The agency also reminds folks not to keep their animals outdoors and exposed to the elements in the deadly cold weather.
The impending winter storm is reflective of the intense La Niña weather pattern that meteorologists identified and predicted would impact the season earlier this year. The incoming storm follows another large-scale weather event that affected most of the United States last week. From California in the West to Connecticut in the East, snowfall, thunderstorms, tornados, and record rain pummeled huge clusters of the US.
Last week’s storm also followed an intense snow event that hit Buffalo, New York just a few weeks ago, causing a staggering six feet of snow to fall on the city. Winter is just starting, and these early storms could be an indication of what to expect as we enter the heart of the season. If that’s the case, the weather and the winter storms that erupt will certainly serve to ring in 2023 with a bang.