We know Santa Claus is coming to town.
But this Christmas, that’s not all we can expect from the Arctic. According to weather forecasts, there’s also a blast of cold weather heading to the U.S. from the North Pole.
The Arctic air mass is the coldest of the season so far.
It’s set to travel first into Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota by Wednesday night.
Then, it will spread into the Great Lakes region over the weekend.
So how cold will it be? Weather models predict temperatures in some areas will dip below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Some areas will see temperatures 30 or 40 degrees below average. However, this cold spell won’t necessarily be one for the record books.
“It’s like the giant ridge over the North Pacific creates a slide” for extremely cold air from the polar vortex to move down, Ryan Maue, meteorologist with weather.us, told The Washington Post. “The trajectory of the upper level vortex anomalies is straight out of the Arctic.”
Though it may not break records, be sure you’re prepared for the frigid temperatures. That means packing extra layers, boots, scarves, hats and more.
But is the cold a good sign for a white Christmas? It depends, but with colder-than-average temperatures, any snow that does fall will probably stick around rather than melting right away.
If you’re planning to be in the Rocky Mountains, the Dakotas, Minnesota or parts of Wisconsin and Michigan, you may have a white Christmas.
These regions often see snow this time of year. Specifically, Aspen, Colorado, is one of the best places for a Christmas snowfall.
It’s still too early to know for sure, but we can all hope for a snowy Christmas morning.
Interestingly, this Arctic air moving south also means warmer temperatures in Alaska and northern regions of Canada. It might sound like a relief for residents, but for animals and some people who rely on sea ice for hunting prey, it is a growing problem.
Merry Christmas, and don’t forget to bundle up!