Millions of Americans are set to be affected by severe winter weather this weekend as strong storms threaten to trash Christmas holiday plans. A burst of arctic air that is settling over several states this week is forecast to drop temperatures to potentially deadly levels.
The warning comes as more than 110 million Americans are expected to set out for the festive celebrations.
Across the US, 50 million Americans are under winter storm watches, advisories, and warnings.
Over 50 million Americans are also under windchill alerts.
The “bomb cyclone” is set to blast areas from the plains to the mid-Atlantic and has been labeled a once-in-a-generation event by the National Weather Service (NWS).
“Some of the parameters of this intense storm are climatologically ‘off the charts’,” the NWS hub in Buffalo, New York said on Tuesday.
The Minneapolis branch wrote that it “is still looking to develop as a high end, life-threatening event”.
Parts of the country will be hit by record breaking temperatures along with strong winds and heavy snow, according to the NWS.
There are also predictions that wind chills could take temperatures as low as -40 farenheit across the intermountain-west and northern/central Plains.
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He said: “The upcoming Arctic outbreak across Central US is going to be the real deal.
“Temperatures will likely rival anything seen in 30 years (or even longer!) across portions of the central Plains.
“In a warming climate, that’s saying quite a lot.”