A coast-to-coast cold snap will usher in January, with frigid temperatures across the lower 48 states and below-normal temperatures striking the largest portion of the U.S in the past 15 years.
A southward dip in the polar jet stream will drive arctic air down from Canada next week, according to The Weather Channel. The colder temperatures will hit the northern Rocky Mountains, dropping temperatures roughly 15 to 30 degrees below average.
Temperatures in the northern Plains are expected to fall 10 to 25 degrees, resulting in high temperatures in the single digits and low teens.
Brian Donegan, with Weather Underground, said parts of Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota won't even make it up to zero degrees during the cold snap.
"Wind chills will reach dangerously cold levels, placing you at risk for frostbite or hypothermia if you are outdoors and not properly bundled up," said Donegan.
Alaska climatologist Brian Brettschneider posted on Twitter on Thursday that the six to 10-day outlook from the National Weather Service predicts with "90 percent confidence" that below-normal temperatures will strike the largest area of the country in the past 15 years, reported the Washington Post.
The Pacific Northwest will receive some of the coldest average air early to the middle of next week, said the Post
"Much of our region has been 2-4 (degrees) colder than typical during the past month," said Seattle-based climatologist Cliff Mass. "Such cold temperatures have brought us a very healthy snowpack. But the latest model runs are suggesting a much colder period next week, one that would be far colder than we have seen in many years."
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