Some of the coldest December weather in decades may plunge into the central and eastern states with snow possible before Christmas Eve

December 16, 2022 at 11:37 a.m. EST
By Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow

Weather models are in strong agreement that blasts of frigid air will plunge into the northern Plains, Midwest and eastern United States in the days leading up to Christmas. Some of this air — 30 or more degrees below average — might be the coldest in late December in at least two decades.

At the same time, there are increasing odds of significant winter storminess in the eastern half of the nation between Wednesday and Christmas Eve. ...

The frigid weather and possibility of snow will coincide with a peak time for holiday travelers.

... The initial blast of cold will drive southward into the northern Rockies and northern Plains on Monday and Tuesday, reaching the Great Lakes Tuesday into Wednesday. Some of the coldest areas near the border with Canada could see temperatures 30 to 40 degrees below normal, meaning highs around minus-10 and lows from minus-20 to minus-30. Subzero temperatures could reach as far south as the central Plains.

... The core of the cold will probably remain over the north central United States through midweek, although temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below normal could reach parts of the South and the eastern United States late in the workweek.

A second, reinforcing blast of cold may dive into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest Wednesday and Thursday, pushing frigid air even farther south and east.