The coldest air of the season so far, featuring temperatures well below zero, will sweep out of Canada and into the northern Plains, the Upper Midwest and part of the Northeast before 2014 arrives.
Portions of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are likely to have one to several days where the temperature does not climb above zero later this weekend into the first part of next week.
Cities in the North Central states facing around the clock, sub-zero temperatures include Fargo, N.D.; Minneapolis; Eau Claire, Wis.; and Ironwood, Mich.
Temperatures may struggle to climb out of the single digits around Chicago Monday and Tuesday. The air will be warmed slightly downwind of the Great Lakes, but even Detroit will have highs only in the teens.
RealFeel® temperatures will be significantly lower than the actual temperature much of the time.
The frigid air will settle into the Northeast during New Year's Eve through New Year's Day and into Thursday morning.
Even though the extreme part of the cold air will stop short of the I-95 Northeast and central Appalachians, it will be dangerous to be outdoors for an extended period of time.
Temperatures are forecast to plunge through the 20s for revelers on Times Square in New York City during New Year's Eve. RealFeel temperatures may dip into the single digits by midnight, thanks to an unforgiving wind.
Similarly for spectators and participants in the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia on New Year's Day, temperatures are forecast to be in the 20s with RealFeel temperatures in the single digits and teens.
The brutally cold air will settle over areas hit hard by the pre-Christmas ice storm, where thousands were still without power as of Friday, Dec. 27, 2013.
According to AccuWeather.com Canada Weather Expert Brett Anderson, "Some all-time record lows could be challenged in parts of southern Quebec, southern Quebec, northern New England and northern upstate New York, when the core of the cold air settles in Wednesday night."
Just how low temperatures drop at night will depend on cloud cover and wind. There is the potential for temperatures to dip even lower than currently forecast.
"Where the sky is clear all night and winds become calm, temperatures along the United States/Canada border could drop to minus 30 F," Anderson said.
Major cities in Canada that have a chance at reaching all-time record lows, provided the right conditions occur, include Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa, Ontario.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, areas from northern upstate New York to northern Vermont, northern New Hampshire and northwestern Maine may stay below zero on New Year's Day.
"In part of New England and New York state, the frigid air will sweep in on the heels of a fresh blanket of snow from a storm due to affect the area Sunday night into Monday," Pydynowski said.
International Falls, Minn., has been no stranger to temperatures dipping to the neighborhood of 30 degrees below zero during December. The city along the Canada border has done so five times through Dec. 6 and is likely to do so a couple more times before the end of the month.
The icebox of the lower 48 states has lived up to its reputation and then some this month with an average temperature of 3.5 degrees below zero F. The normal average temperature for the month at the city is 10.5 degrees above zero.