Extremely cold air from Siberia will send US into deep freeze days before Christmas

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Extremely cold air from Siberia will send US into deep freeze days before Christmas

A bitter blast of cold air will challenge records that have stood since the 1980s from the northern Rockies to the Southeast, as well as stress energy grids, in the run up to the Christmas holiday.

By Bill Deger, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Published Dec. 14, 2022 11:18 AM MST | Updated Dec. 14, 2022 1:35 PM MST

Copied00:06Looking ahead on the Christmas weather outlook


AccuWeather’s Bernie Rayno and Joe Lundberg look ahead at the weather outlook and the potential for storms during the week of Christmas.

December has begun on a fairly mild note across a large part of the United States, but a bitter blast of cold air that will flow into North America from Siberia is forecast to plunge the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. into a deep freeze in the days leading up to Christmas.

The cold could challenge records that have stood since the 1980s, as subzero temperatures are expected to grip states from the northern Rockies to the East. AccuWeather long-range forecasters expect the mercury to be up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below late-December averages in parts of the country.

Siberia is one of the coldest locations on the planet during the winter months. Earlier this week, the mercury plunged to an incredible 78 degrees Fahrenheit below zero (61 degrees Celsius below zero) in the city of Yakutsk on Monday, according to AccuWeather Lead International Forecaster Jason Nicholls.


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The intense cold will arrive in North America in two waves, as atmospheric energy moves it along through northeastern parts of Asia and into the northwestern part of North America next week.

“By early next week, the atmospheric energy bringing the cold will dive south out of the Gulf of Alaska and into the Pacific Northwest,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham. It will then proceed through the northern Rockies and Upper Midwest from Monday to Tuesday. Low temperatures with this push of frigid air will not quite reach record levels, but low temperatures well below zero will be common in Montana and the Dakotas.

The subsequent push of cold air beginning in the middle of next week will make the first seem like an appetizer to the main course. The northern Rockies and northern Plains will bear the brunt of this bitter blast, which will try to expand south and east through the country in the days before Christmas.

“This could be one of the most extreme air masses that is observed all winter across portions of the north-central U.S.,” says Buckingham. “I would not be surprised to see some areas in Montana or North Dakota approach 30 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, which would come close to some of th

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