Forecasters predict that this week will bring an Arctic air mass that will bring heavy precipitation, dangerously low temperatures, and potentially nightmare travel conditions.
The chance of a white Christmas for the country’s eastern half loomed just in time for the winter solstice, which occurs on Wednesday, as last week’s mega-storm died before the first day of Chanukah.
Snow will probably not fall in New York City, but there will be plenty of rain and chilly weather.
The National Weather Service posted on Twitter that “a chilly Arctic air mass will surge southward throughout this week, delivering dangerously cold temperatures & wind chills across the Central & Eastern U.S.”
“As you do your holiday shopping, take precautions to keep yourself warm.”
The air mass will engulf the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. in dangerously low temperatures by the end of the week, possibly “the coldest air of the season” with temperatures 10 to 35 degrees below average, according to the NWS.
According to Accuweather meteorologist Ryan Adamson, the storm is anticipated to have similar effects when it makes landfall in two regions of the nation.
He predicted that on Wednesday, “but the real storm gets underway on Thursday,” some snow would move into Montana, Wyoming, and the Plains.
According to Adamson, it then moves through Kansas, northeastern Oklahoma, and Missouri before swinging up to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, and other areas of Michigan on Friday with a probable blizzard.
Meanwhile, rain is anticipated to fall in the Carolinas, Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey along the East Coast.
In central Pennsylvania and New York, precipitation may begin as snow or ice before changing to rain.
Adamson states it “looks like a rain event” for the I-95 corridor between Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
However, as temperatures fall and winds pick up, any remaining water will quickly freeze.
According to NWS forecasts, temperatures will drastically drop by Thursday night, perhaps falling as low as 13 degrees in Jackson, Mississippi, and 5 degrees in Nashville, Tennessee.
Temperatures in the Northern High Plains will be 20 to 35 degrees below average, according to the NWS. Even Florida was predicted to experience a Christmas Eve low of the 20s and a Christmas Day high of only 40 degrees.
According to Adamson, the far south will likely have below-freezing temperatures until Christmas Day.
Adamson advised caution for anyone who couldn’t delay their journey until Monday or Tuesday.
He cautioned drivers to care for ice and “keep both hands on the driving wheel” and anticipated that weather-related aircraft delays and cancellations would occur.