Arctic air blasting across the northern tier of the United States gripped parts of the High Plains, the Upper Midwest and New England on Monday, with wind-chill alerts posted from Montana to Maine, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
The frigid air mass, ushered in behind a cold front sweeping over the East Coast into the Atlantic, was expected to bring a combination of icy temperatures and winds that make it feel as cold as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in some places, the weather service said.
Such dangerously low wind-chill factors can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes, the NWS warned.
At the same time, cold, Arctic winds blowing in from the west across the Great Lakes are likely to bring heavy “lake-effect” snow to parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, upstate New York and western Pennsylvania over the next few days. More than a foot of snow is possible in the Tug Hill plateau of New York, the NWS said.
Wind-chill warnings and advisories were posted in 12 states across the northern stretch of the country on Monday, from the northeastern corner of Montana to northern Maine.
Sub-zero wind chill conditions are expected to abate over the Midwest and Great Lakes by Tuesday but will remain locked in place for much of the Northeast and New England into Wednesday morning, according to the NWS forecast.
Meanwhile, a warming trend is in store for the Great Plains this week, with highs expected to soar above average across that region on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Across the country, heavy showers are forecast to return to the Pacific Northwest, with flooding possible in rain-drenched parts of Washington state’s northern coastal region on Tuesday and Wednesday, following a brief respite from extreme downpours and flooding there last week, the weather service said.
By Steve Gorman