Many Americans will see the harshest weather of the season.
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I've lived in the Midwest for most of my life, so low temperatures and plenty of snow are nothing new to me. But even I feel surprised when I see extreme weather on the forecast in the middle of winter. According to AccuWeather, the central area of the U.S. will face "a blast of Arctic air" that will bring the coldest temperatures of the winter so far. (Yes, it's time to bundle up.)

arctic blast map
Credit: Courtesy of AccuWeather

For the past few days, temperatures from the Rockies to the Plains have been slightly warmer than usual, the weather site reports. But later this week, Arctic air will sweep across the northern Plains and the Midwest and drop temperatures. Meteorologists note that it will feel especially intense because temperatures have been above average for the majority of the season. For example, AccuWeather notes that the lowest temperature in Chicago was 8°F. This week, it's expected to be "well below zero." Residents on the East Coast will also face colder weather. Those in New England and the central Appalachians might experience temperatures near or below 0°F.

On top of the freezing temperatures, there will also be storms and strong winds. The site predicts a wintry mix will come through the Midwest and the Northeast on Thursday and Friday. And those in the Ohio Valley, northern Plains, and Great Lakes will see wind gusts from 20 to 40 mph. "Hypothermia and frostbite are threats in this type of air mass, especially with strong winds blowing or when people are trying to walk or jog at a brisk pace in light winds," explains AccuWeather meteorologist Nichole LoBiondo. "People will need to put on extra layers of clothes if they plan on walking out the door to brave the elements."

I don't care for snow because it makes it difficult to travel, but because of the pandemic, I'm not going anywhere anyway. You can find me hanging out on the couch with my electric blanket ($50, Target) and a glass of wine. A perfect pandemic weekend in the winter, if you ask me.


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