Brutal cold will chill 70% of the U.S.

Brutal cold will chill 70% of the U.S.

By Holly Yan, CNN

Updated 9:15 AM ET, Mon January 5, 2015

Millions bracing for winter storms 01:31
Story highlights

Wind chills will plunge as low as 50 degrees below zero in the Upper Midwest
A second blast of arctic air will push all the way down to Florida mid-week
Snow, sleet and freezing rain will pummel parts of upstate New York and New England

(CNN)You know it’s going to be bad when 0 degrees Fahrenheit will be the high temperature.

But that’s what parts of Minnesota will experience this week. And plenty of others will be freezing as well.

“We’re looking at 50 million people in 24 states that are going to see some of the coldest weather over the next several days that we have seen in quite some time,” CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said.

Here’s what to expect across the country:

THE MIDWEST: Unfathomable chill

If you want to know what 50 below zero feels like, just go to northern Wisconsin or Minnesota on Monday.

Wind chills will dip to negative 25 to 50 (-32 to -45 degrees Celsius) there and in parts of North Dakota.

“This arctic cold is potentially deadly and dangerous,” Maginnis said. “And a second blast of cold air will reinforce the deep freeze on Tuesday.”

Chicago won’t be much better, with an estimated wind chill of 23 degrees below zero on Monday, CNN meterologist Tom Sater said.

The Midwest is far from alone.

“About 70% of the United States is going to feel very cold temperatures in the coming couple of days,” CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.

THE NORTHEAST: A cocktail of nasty precipitation

Snow, sleet and freezing rain will pummel parts of upstate New York and New England.

“An Arctic airmass that already invaded the north central U.S. will spread southeastward, plunging temperatures from the Mississippi Valley to East Coast,” the National Weather Service said.

New York City’s temps will dive to about 8 degrees Thursday morning. Oh, and there will be blustery winds to boot.

THE WEST: Snow from Washington to the Grand Canyon

Get ready for widespread precipitation across the Northwest early this week.

“Heavy rains are expected along the Washington coast while snowfall accumulations in excess of a foot will be possible in the Cascades and northern Rockies,” the National Weather Service said.

Farther south, snow has already blanketed Southern Californian mountains, cacti in the Southwest and parts of the Grand Canyon.

THE SOUTHEAST: From tornadoes to bitter cold

Fresh off a spate of weekend tornadoes, the Southeast will now have to deal with an onslaught of frigid air. Mississippi is cleaning up from four tornadoes Saturday, and two other twisters struck Alabama.
pkg possible tornado mississippi_00014611

Rough storm rips through Mississippi 01:52

Up next: A mid-week freeze that will leave even Floridians shivering.

Atlanta will get well below freezing, culminating in a dip to 16 degrees on Wednesday morning.

The blast from the north could be strong enough to push not just to Florida, but also into the Caribbean.

“It staggers the imagination,” Sater said. “There’s a change a-coming.”

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