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Arctic blast to freeze much of U.S. this week |

Arctic blast to freeze much of U.S. this week

Here it comes, ready or not.

After a warm November, the coldest weather of the season is forecast to roar across almost all of the United States this week, bringing freezing temperatures as far south as Florida.

This won’t be normal December cold, either, as temperatures will be about 10 to 20 degrees colder than typical for this month. Also, once the arctic blast arrives, it will stick around well into next weekend and perhaps longer.

The cold air first moves into Seattle and the Northwest on Monday and then into the northern Rockies and northern Plains by Tuesday. The East Coast and Southeast can expect colder temperatures by the end of the week.

The northern tier of the United States will see several rounds of light to moderate snow, but blizzard conditions are not expected. Snow fell Sunday in the upper Midwest, giving Chicago its first accumulation of the season.

Below-zero temperatures are likely in the early mornings Tuesday through Thursday from the Rockies to the northern Plains, according to the Weather Channel.

According to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, temperatures will get colder throughout the week. Forecasters said the Pittsburgh region could see freezing rain Tuesday morning and snow showers that evening with little or no accumulation. Temperatures will continue to drop toward the end of the week with snow showers possible on Thursday through Sunday. High temperatures Friday could reach no more than the upper 20s, with lows in the evening in the teens.

Not surprisingly, some of the coldest temperatures will be in the Dakotas. Minot, N.D., should see a high of 4 degrees Wednesday and a low of minus-3 early Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Howling winds will create dangerous wind chills dropping as low as minus-30 Tuesday night in the northern Plains, the weather service said.

Afternoon highs in Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis will reach only the 20s by mid-week, AccuWeather said.

By Friday and Satuarday, high temperatures in the East Coast and Southeast will be in the 30s and 40s.

“For many places in the East, temperatures on Friday will be lower than at any point during last year’s unusually warm December,” AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Thompson said.

“This arctic air mass will mean an early cold snap for much of Florida, where high temperatures in Tampa and Orlando will not even reach 60 degrees on Friday,” Thompson said.

A freeze is possible in Orlando by next weekend, according to WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue.

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