A week after a winter storm threatened the entire country, a new storm now threatens the Christmas vacations for 270 million people. The National Weather Service warned that the weather phenomenon will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, December 20 and will last until Saturday, December 25. The storm will be accompanied by heavy snowfall, winds and a steep drop in temperatures:
A major storm system is forecast to impact much of the Nation leading up to Christmas Eve, with widespread gusty winds, areas of heavy rain and heavy snow, as well as bitter cold in its wake. Be sure to pay close attention to the forecast this week as details become certain. ❄️🥶 pic.twitter.com/X3C9byGcek
— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) December 18, 2022
An arctic air mass
The winter storm, the National Weather Service warned, will affect parts of the Central Appalachians, eastern Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, crossing much of the country. This will make traveling during the holiday season complicated, as the agency warned in statements reported by The New York Times:
The tandem of bitterly cold temperatures and an intensifying storm system over the Rockies and Central Plains by midweek, will mean treacherous travel for many locations along and east of the Rockies.
Beginning this Tuesday and continuing through Saturday, an arctic air mass is expected to cause highs to be between 10 and 35°F below normal in at least 48 states across the country:
An #Artic air mass is going to consume much of the Lower 48 this upcoming week. From Tuesday (Dec. 20) to Saturday (Dec 24), high #temperatures are going to average 10 to 35 degrees below normal from the Northwest quadrant of the U.S. into the Eastern two-thirds of the country. pic.twitter.com/Uhmqg2DOc8
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 17, 2022
Christmas below zero
This drop in temperatures will cause many citizens to remember this Christmas as one of the coldest. Zackary Taylor, senior meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center, explained:
For some folks, it could be one of the coldest Christmases in a while. The cold air spilling southward is certainly some of the coldest air we’ve seen so far this winter and there is the potential there for some record low temperatures.
The meteorologist also warned that many trips will be affected by this storm: "The system is going to be pretty strong, and pretty dynamic, such that it’s going to create some hazardous weather conditions, and probably travel disruptions."
In New York, temperatures are expected to reach 28ºF on Christmas Day, while other regions such as Houston and New Orleans will have highs on Christmas Eve of 29ºF and 34ºF, respectively.
Temperatures that, as Marc Chenard, meteorologist of the Weather Prediction Center explained, will affect the proper operation of the roads: "The cold will probably impact more people but the snow and wind is going to be pretty significant where it does occur," he warned.