Winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, but the upcoming forecasts for much of the United States show that winter weather is already here. A massive arctic blast is hitting the country with record low temperatures and snow weeks before Thanksgiving.
Over the week, more than 67 million Americans will be under winter weather alerts. The National Weather Service predicts that approximately 300 record lows could be tied or set from Monday to Wednesday. Keep in mind that many of these records are from the 1800s.
Currently, the massive cold front stretches from the Southern Plains to the Northeast. As of Monday morning, Malta, Montana, was the coldest place in the country with a bone-chilling temperature of -24°F.
The winter chill will bring piercing cold to the Deep South and even Gulf Coast states, where over a dozen record lows could be set in the next few days.
The Midwest will experience freezing temperatures and troublesome snowfall, especially areas near the Great Lakes. Chicago is expected to get as much as six inches of snow. Up to 12 inches of snow is forecast in Traverse City in Michigan and upstate New York near Rochester because of the lake effect.
Chicago is already dealing with frigid temperatures, ice, and snow. At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, where the wind chill is 8°F, an American Airlines airplane slid off the icy runway. There was reportedly no major injuries.
Iowa has already accumulated nearly five inches of snow.
Most of the areas affected by the winter blast will only experience light snow accumulations of an inch or two.
By Wednesday, the cold front will move to the East Coast, where temps are expected to be 30 degrees below average. The Arctic air will cause wind chills to plummet to the low teens and single digits.
The Weather Channelhas named this Winter Storm Caleb.