A double polar vortex is evidence that winter is truly here, as it’s expected to bring temperatures down 20 to 40 degrees below normal, which could bring about the coldest December weather in recent years for many areas.
The two pieces of the polar vortex are expected to draw air into the Lower 48, and both waves are already affecting the Upper Midwest, according to The Washington Post.
Along with whipping into the Upper Midwest, one of the pieces of the polar vortex is also expected to reach the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by Thursday.
The other blast of extreme cold is expected to whip through the Northern Plains by Saturday and then travel over the Great Lakes by Sunday.
As this double polar vortex passes through, a winter storm is expected to develop in the Rockies and move across the nation starting Friday.
“Some cities could see their coldest December temperatures in a few years thanks to a duo of arctic cold intrusions,” The Weather Channel reported.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday that the first wave of cold could bring wind chills of between -35 and -45 degrees Fahrenheit in North Dakota as well as up to four inches of snow in other areas.
According to Inverse, these wind chills bring the temperatures to a very dangerous level.
The second wave of the polar vortex is said to have the potential to be even more threatening than the first wave.
The National Weather Service issued a warning regarding the cold wind chills that arrived Wednesday night, Mashable noted.
“Take precautions to protect yourself and your pets from the cold,” the statement said. “Limit outdoor exposure. Bundle up and dress in layers.”
The last notable polar vortex came in 2014.
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