Winter storm and arctic air to surge into US before Christmas
A strong arctic high-pressure system will bring a wave of cold temperatures. It will affect portions of western Canada, the northern Plains, and surrounding areas. According to the National Weather Service, this cold air mass will result in much lower temperatures than normal.
Extremely cold temperatures will also blanket parts of the US. The arctic air mass takes hold in the lead-up to Christmas. The public is looking into a white Christmas that can be potentially dangerous. Weather officials say the fierce chill blowing down from Canada could be life-threatening.
A strong arctic high-pressure system is moving into the Northwest this week. It could bring “very cold air” and winter weather alerts to millions in more than 20 states. The National Weather Service said that these alerts range from wind chill warnings to freeze advisories and cover an area nearly extending from western Canada to the Appalachians.
An Arctic front will continue widespread, dangerous cold, with areas of blinding snow squalls and flash freezing over the central then eastern U.S. through the rest of this week. A strong winter storm will form on this front with blizzard conditions. https://t.co/VyWINDBEpn pic.twitter.com/k2rChNqv1r
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 22, 2022
Aside from the extreme coldness warning, people can experience “pre-holiday travel headaches.”
White Christmas Weather Forecast
According to the National Weather Service and NBC, they’ve been expecting more snow in Washington since the cold air mass moved through. An incoming storm system combined with moisture will bring about widespread snow for northern and western portions of The Evergreen State. Snowfall has already started, with some areas seeing more than a foot accumulate so far. The weather service expects these conditions to continue through Tuesday evening.
Areas across the Cascades and northern Idaho, northwest Montana, and western Wyoming may be in for a white winter as the weather service has predicted record-breaking snowfall amounts for these regions. They also said, “These regions will have the best chances for over a foot of snow.”
An arctic air mass covering the northern Plains and western Canada is forecast to move southward, adding to the cold temperatures already seen in the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday. This air mass contains dangerously low temperatures, which could be a hazard to those living in affected regions. This arctic air can also affect travelers this holiday season.
Who left the fridge open?🥶
Bitter cold is on the way for Christmas weekend. pic.twitter.com/p06iNs46YO
— Weather Underground (@wunderground) December 21, 2022
Winter Storm Warning
Alongside the wind blast of up to 60 mph, the arctic air can bring “life-threatening” cold air that could drop as low as -40 degrees. It could affect the North Central US and the central part. The weather service said, “This level of cold can be life-threatening and lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.”
The National Weather Service has issued wind chill warnings and watches across 17 states from Washington to Texas, bringing with it the potential for heavy snowfall, which could cause “pre-holiday travel headaches.” Central Plains, Midwest, and Great Lakes regions will likely experience some of the worst disturbances due to this winter storm, so travelers should be prepared for delays or cancellations.
Additionally, those living in these areas should take proper precautions as dangerously cold temperatures are possible over the coming days. The weather service said, “Areas of light to moderate snow are likely along and behind the cold front as it impacts central Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley on Wednesday and Thursday.”
— Kathy Sabine (@KathySabine9) December 22, 2022
Aside from the strong winds, the public should also expect snowfall. According to the weather service, it can hit “nearly the entire eastern half of the US. This large system becomes fully mature by Thursday night.”
Weather on Christmas
As a powerful storm system barrels eastward across the country, major airports in Chicago; Detroit; Cincinnati; Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; New York; and Boston are set to experience significant disruptions. Passengers should anticipate flight delays, cancellations, and severe turbulence when flying through these hubs. Airline authorities encourage those planning travel through the region to stay up-to-date with their flight information and plan accordingly.
The nation is gearing up for the holiday season. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates more than a half-million flights to take place before the end of the year and into early January. Despite this, AAA believes that driving will be more common, with nearly 102 million people taking their cars on the roads. The number of those set out by plane is expected to be much lower at 7.2 million travelers.
The National Weather Service also issued an urgent warning to residents of the Midwest and Northeast. They predict that heavy snowfall and low visibility will drastically increase travel risk. In addition to hazardous road conditions, power outages are possible due to severe weather conditions.