An incoming arctic air mass is expected to blow “the coldest air of the season” across much of the U.S. in the days ahead of Christmas, bringing dangerously cold temperatures and threatening treacherous travel conditions for the holidays, forecasters warned.
The polar air will bring “extreme and prolonged freezing conditions for southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a special weather statement Sunday.
“We’re looking at much-below normal temperatures, potentially record-low temperatures leading up to the Christmas holiday,” said NWS meteorologist Zack Taylor.
Mississippi may get blasted by the coldest air the state has seen in at least five years, FOX Weather reported.
A massive winter storm is expected to snarl Christmas week travel as heavy snow, rain and damaging winds sweep across the U.S. @BrittaMerwinWX has the latest on the forecast: https://t.co/wu6G4tg85Z pic.twitter.com/WGrwQD7lap
— FOX Weather (@foxweather) December 19, 2022
By Thursday night, forecasters predict temperatures will plunge as low as 13 degrees in Jackson, Mississippi, while Nashville may see temperatures drop to around 5 degrees.
Temperatures in the Northern Rockies, central and northern Plains and the Upper Midwest were expected to hit subzero, according to the outlet.
A frigid Arctic airmass will plunge southward throughout this week, bringing dangerously cold temps & wind chills across the Central & Eastern U.S. As you finish your holiday shopping, take action to protect yourself from the cold. Cold weather safety: https://t.co/cDajZfk6D6 pic.twitter.com/xl8daxPH16
— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) December 18, 2022
On Tuesday, low temperatures could reach minus 30 degrees across parts of Montana and North Dakota, temperatures that threaten frostbite in as little as 10 minutes, forecasters said.
The strong arctic front is predicted to march across the eastern two-thirds of the country in the days before Christmas, potentially bringing “the coldest air of the season,” according to the latest forecasts from the federal Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.