Polar plunge: First week of winter brings snow and bitterly cold temperatures


Astronomical winter officially begins this Wednesday and Jack Frost is in full force.

Temperatures will take a polar plunge this week, and even Florida is not spared, thanks to a strong meridional pressure system moving in from Canada.

“Extremely cold air from the Arctic mass will engulf much of the central and eastern parts of the nation in the middle of the two-week period, including the busy holiday travel season,” the Climate Center said.

From Idaho to Minnesota, temperatures will range between 10 to 30 degrees below average early Sunday. On Tuesday, that bitter cold will spread from Washington into Wisconsin and across Texas, and will become more extreme, with some areas reaching 45 degrees below normal.

“It will reach only a few inches high in individual northern regions, while following into subzero and less humid territory closer to the Canadian border,” the Weather Prediction Center said. “Storm winds will feel even colder across northern Montana, where wind chill advisories are in effect due to the potential for wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below zero.”

At those temperatures, hypothermia can start in less than 10 minutes – but as little as 5 minutes for parts of South Dakota.

The National Weather Service office in Rapid City, South Dakota, reported wind chills as low as 50 to 60 below zero possible on Wednesday night.

the temperature of Tuesday 12172022

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Even the coldest wind advisor is effective until Thursday. Five full days of cold temperatures are starting to kick in for the winter season, and not just in Montana.

It’s that time of year again when everyone hates Florida – the only real hot spot in the country – but only in the next few days, when Florida will also cool down by the end of the week.

On Monday, Atlanta will see temperatures near 50 degrees, but come Friday, temperatures may not even reach 30 degrees. Denver goes from a high of 46 degrees on Monday to a high of just 14 on Thursday.

high temperature weather on Friday 12172022

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Some Floridians will see a much larger sudden drop. Pensacola’s temperature of 64 on Thursday will be downright tropical compared to the high of 38 just 24 hours ago. And yes, overnight temperatures tend to drop below freezing this way.

Make sure you cover any plants you may still have outside and bring your care inside this week.

Even Miami’s temperature of 73 on Friday – which will be the hottest spot across the continental US – will be about 10 degrees cooler than the day before.

More than 260 million people will see temperatures at or below freezing across the US next week – over 80 percent of the population.

“As cold as it will be, it will be difficult to challenge the daily record low/severe cold (severe) due to this event overlapping with parts of the historic 1983 and 1989 cold waves. At least parts of the East may end up seeing the coldest temperatures for any December since 2017.”

The cold weather is here to stay. Long-term models continue to forecast that temperatures will continue to be well below normal through the Christmas weekend.

weather 6 to 10 day temperature outlook 12172022

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“A major storm system is forecast to hit much of the nation until Christmas Eve, with widespread gusty winds, areas of heavy rain and heavy snow, as well as bitter cold in its wake”; Weather Prediction Center he said. “Be sure to pay attention to the forecast this week as certain details become available.”

If you’re looking for warm weather for a weekend getaway, you’ll be limited to Southern Florida, Southern California, or Hawaii.


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