Weather: strong Arctic wave to impact the Northwest

Authorities warned of possible complications for both land and air travel across the country during the holiday season.

A few days before Christmas, the National Weather Service has warned about the approach of an Arctic wave that would affect a large part of the country, especially in the the Northwest. Strong wind, below-freezing temperatures and significant snowfall are expected. Authorities are discouraging transportation by both land and air.

The storms have already started in Seattle and are expected to move eastward across the country. The alerts have reached as far as Chicago, through Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Idaho.

Via its communication channels, the National Weather Service predicted "brief bursts of heavy snow, strong wind gusts, and rapidly falling temperatures." It warned about potential impacts on travelers during Christmas, as road freezes and power outages could occur.

Temperatures could fall by 25-35 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of hours, resulting in wind chill temperatures as low as 35 to 55 degrees below zero. As a result, some airports, such as Chicago O'Hare, have already warned about the possibility of forced closures for several hours.