The storms are set to explosively develop in the Midwest and Great Lakes later this week, potentially qualifying as a “bomb cyclone” because of its projected rapid strengthening — and will unleash heavy snow and strong winds, as well as bitter, record-setting low temperatures.
The freeze is already impacting some northern and eastern provinces/states.
The lowest reading in Canada yesterday, Dec 19, was the -50C (-58F) suffered at Rabbit Kettle, Northwest Territories; while in the U.S., the temperature bottomed-out at -31F (-35C) in Northgate, North Dakota.
Extreme cold has been impacting British Columbia, too: -46.8C was logged in Puntzi Mountain, the province’s coldest December temp since 1996 (solar minimum of cycle 22). Staying in B.C., -42.2C was registered at Clinton & Dease Lake, -41C at Muncho Lake, -40.8C in Fort Nelson, -37.5C Quesnel, -37.4C at Tatlayoko Lake, -36.9C at Burns Lake, and -36.8C in Prince George.
Headed back below the border, the city of Chicago, for example, is currently on for one of its coldest Christmas day on record.
This week first threatens to deliver a powerful snowstorm, but after that a period of bitter cold will dominate, with daily maximum temperatures dropping into the single-digits and wind chills plunging well-below zero over the festive weekend.
Chicago’s coldest Christmas on record took place in 1983, when the daily high at O’Hare International Airport held at just -5F degrees, with the second-coldest occurring two years later in 1985 (solar minimum of cycle 21), when thermometers struggled to just 2F — these benchmarks are in reach this Christmas, which is a testament to the ferocity of this incoming Arctic Outbreak.
Chicago is all-but assured a top-5 coldest Christmas on record, dating back to at least 1871.