Over 50 million people are on winter storm alerts as the frigid air is already slithering south of the Canadian border, closing in on virtually the entire Lower 48 east of the Rockies.
The National Weather Service is calling the cold “life-threatening” for the areas that will be hardest hit, especially the Great Plains and Midwest.
Wind chill warnings and advisories, along with blizzard warnings and other winter hazard alerts, were in effect from Montana to Georgia as the cold advanced on Tuesday night.
In the coldest areas, the combination of high winds and frigid air mean frostbite will be possible for anyone caught unprepared outside for as little as 10 to 20 minutes.
The contrast in air masses along the strong Arctic front, combined with a jet stream disturbance, will spawn a potent blizzard that will affect a huge expanse from tomorrow through early this weekend — one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
A cold front moving through the northern Rockies, northern Plains, and upper Midwest Wednesday will bring areas of gusty winds, heavy snow and snow squalls, and a sharp drop in temperatures. pic.twitter.com/ePIAPLBGaP
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 21, 2022
What is a “bomb cyclone” blizzard?
Blizzard conditions are forecast between early Thursday and Friday night from Kansas City, Missouri, to the Michigan border with Canada. Chicago, northern Indiana and western Michigan may take the brunt.
The NWS forecast office in Chicago warned of “a significant threat to life for anyone stranded in the storm,” and noted in an online forecast discussion that computer model projections show consistent signals for an “extreme event” with damaging winds greater than 55 mph during the height of the snowstorm.
The storm is likely to qualify as a “bomb cyclone” since it will intensify at a rapid rate, through a process known as bombogenesis. Such storms typically are seen along the East Coast.
The NWS, in a forecast discussion, notes the storm will intensify “explosively,” while the NWS office in Buffalo is describing the storm as a “once-in-a-generation type event.”
Widespread power outages from damaging winds are likely across the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and New England, as strong winds whip around a rapidly intensifying low-pressure area in the Great Lakes.
Some areas may even set records for their biggest temperature plunge in a short period of time, with computer models showing the potential for a “flash freeze” as the temperature drops 30°F to 40°F in just three hours. This sudden chill will be accompanied by strong winds.
The NWS in Denver warns the city is likely to see its coldest day in 32 years on Thursday. And in eastern Wyoming, the agency is predicting wind chills as low as minus -70°F.
⚠Life Threatening Cold Arrives Late Wednesday⚠
We promise that’s not an exaggeration. This is likely to be the coldest day in 32 years in Denver so many people have not experienced a cold snap like this. We highly recommend avoiding extended periods of being outside. #COwx pic.twitter.com/YPOPkzfxqs
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) December 20, 2022
Between the blizzard in the Plains and Midwest and heavy rain in the East, along with the broad footprint from the Arctic front, it’s likely that thousands of flights will be delayed or canceled during the run-up to Christmas weekend.
Extreme cold still occurs in a warming world, though it is becoming less severe and of shorter duration.
We can not emphasize enough – the #cold air and wind chill forecast tomorrow (Wed) night thru Thursday feature some of the most extreme values you will ever see!
Please take precautions: Check on elderly/vulnerable, protect pets, shelter livestock, cover exposed skin! #WYwx #NEwx pic.twitter.com/aFFqnCXftk
— NWS Cheyenne (@NWSCheyenne) December 20, 2022
In the U.S., most states east of the Rockies have been warming the fastest during winter. This cold snap, while headline-grabbing, is unlikely to smash records from particularly cold years in the 1980s or earlier to establish new all-time milestones.
There is also an active scientific debate regarding the effects of rapid arctic warming and its effect on the snow package, and if it is altering the jet stream in ways that favor more frequent southern cold intrusions.
While millions of people deal with the consequences of the storm, with multiple international air travel and shipping hubs likely affected simultaneously, the cold will set scattered records across the Plains, South, Southeast and eventually the East.
In Texas, which suffered a massive failure of its power grid in February 2021, this round of cold will not be accompanied by as much snow and won’t be as prolonged.
However, it could pose a danger to energy infrastructure that is still vulnerable to extreme cold and high winds.
In the Plains, the cold may rival anything experienced in the past three decades. [Axios]
Update 55 dead from bomb cyclone:
That’s happened before. I can remember when we would have severe blizzards in MN. People drive, end up in a ditch, snow covers them, and then they are found dead, frozen solid. People usually carry emergency blankets, food, water, candles. Some don’t.
Death count will go up, I betcha. See, those snow drifts are hiding cars with dead bodies. Once it thaws, and snow melts, there’s bound to be alot more.
1970ish Time Magazine had a cover story, The Coming Ice Age. That actually is more probable. Solar miniumums excite the magma, and there is more volcanic activity from what I have recently read over on the Electroverse website. Those guys have great articles. Michael Peinsip turned me on to that site 2 years ago.
Yep, death count increasing. Bodies being found frozen in snow banks. I remember way back 30 years ago, a neighbor fell over in his wheelchair. His body was discovered frozen in the morning. This is not a joke.
Tranny Joker Hochul blames the bomb cyclone on climate change. She needs to hire another pickpocket to lift her face again. Hideous ?
37 people dead from bomb cyclone. Widespread looting in Buffalo N.Y. during blizzard conditions. People shooting at looters.?
37 people dead from cold is more than the total of people that died from global warming, according to the report.
The more volcanic activity accompanied by a solar minimum, the more cold we get. Global warming is a hoax.
Well, Bannon had an expert on in his war room. The expert, Walsh believes the power grid could experience problem due to the bomb cyclone/cold freeze. People could die and so could animals.
An old guy on the radio mentioned an old trick to prevent pipes freezing. He reported you can shut off the water mainline, and drain faucets out if you know a deep freeze is imminent.
I burn logs in my wood stove. Almost every hour I am feeding wood into it. I bake potatoes and crack the oven about an inch. Works good. Our propane gas has an additive which smells like rotten eggs. So, you know instantly if the pilot goes out. Otherwise, I would not do my crack the oven door method.
Well, there are gas and power grid failures. Looks like Walsh was accurate in his predictions. One report indicates a million people without power in subzero temperatures. Another report indicates Indiana and Wisconsin are having a rough time of it. People are being asked to drop thermostats to 60°.
Break out the gasoline generators. I usually store 10 gallons of gasoline, plus a full generator. You can dry logs by putting them near wood burning stove or even in your conventional oven on warm. Done that before. Burning logs now too. Keep the fire stoked.
Provided you don’t lose your animals there’s an upside to this.The bitter cold kills soil born bugs and some plant diseases.Also helps kill airborne disease colds flush exc
Take that hose inside. Put it in the tub and let it thaw. Running buckets is work. Yep!! minus 26 degrees on the thermometer here in the Black Hills. With wind chill, minus 52 degrees. Locking animal in. Heat Lamps on chickens. Lots of hay for sheep. Also, I didn’t shear them this Fall so have nice warm coats. These are Islandic Sheep so will do fine. But a person will need goggles with this wind. Going to be brutal! Only 3 days of it.
Yeah, it sounds really cold. One of my old geese was crippled in a fight a few years back. Can’t flap his wings now. He got so cold he fell over on his back. I had to get him off his back and make him move into the sun. We may hit 39° today which would be good. He is eight and meaner than hell, so he will be ok. All the ducks and chickens are hiding under the house until it warms more.
Geese can live 20 years. Read the record is almost 50 years. Have a pair of African Geese. 3 years old now. Aurther and Queenie.
African geese are neat looking. I have Roman and Chineese. They are all 8, except Snapperhead, 7. Had 12, down to 4 now. All my females died. Gotta getnmy brooding tank out and cleaned up for April. Need a dozen Rhode island red hens for eggs daily. Dog get eggs. I cook them omelets, lol.
Yeah, usually I uncouple them in Winter. Today, my frost free faucet was iced. I forgot the hose. Thawed out by 1600hrs. Lol. We have had 8° on night. Usually, it has been 16-19°, but we haven’t thawed much like we usually do at this elevation. So ice grows more. Normally Jan/Feb is harsher. I don’t mind watering the tubs for animals. I can check them all out, and make sure they are healthy. Geese have been fighting last two days. Gotta step in and separate them. They get grumpy when they can’t bathe in the tubs.
Anything ever happens to Queenie and Aurther would be devastated.
Minus 48° wind chill will kill animals and people. Been in minus 42°, and if you have a full beard with mustache it will form icicles and break off. It was 19° this morning here below the bomb cyclone zone. Still pouring fresh water into animal water tubs by hand. Hose is frozen for days now.
Satan’s Fagtopia (san fransicko) just banned burning wood in your fireplace or wood stove. $100 fine, first offense. $500 for second offense. Too much pollution say the pickle chuggers. Nevermind the poop and aids infected needles on your street. Welcome to Buttclown World ??