Record-breaking cold will envelope large swaths of the country, accompanied with strong winds and heavy snow, according to the National Weather Service, that reported wind chills could dip as low as -40F (-40C) across the intermountain-west and northern/central Plains. Some areas might even reach -70F by the end of the week.
“Wind chills of this magnitude can cause frostbite in less than five minutes” the agency said in a forecast discussion issued Tuesday. The extreme drop in temperatures could be life-threatening, especially if power outages occur.
“The upcoming Arctic outbreak across Central US is going to be the real deal,” climate scientist Daniel Swain said in a tweet. “Temperatures will likely rival anything seen in 30 years (or even longer!) across portions of the central Plains,” he added. “In a warming climate, that’s saying quite a lot.”