Arctic air mass expected to hit US, bringing bitter cold temperatures

Although Americans hope March brings warmer weather, they first have to deal with a brutal arctic air mass that is expected to deliver bitterly cold temperatures and dangerously low wind chills across the U.S.

While it is currently very cold in the northern Rockies, Plains, Midwest and Northeast, temperatures will drop to 20 degrees below zero in some places. Most of the U.S. will be hit by frigid air thanks to the arctic air mass, which could continue into the second week of March in some areas.

The cold is due to a “block jet-stream pattern in the Arctic,” The Weather Channel reported. A “high-pressure area” from the Gulf of Alaska will push the cold air southward into the rest of the country. The blast of frigid air first hit the Rockies and Plains before it moved into the Midwest.

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The places where it’s expected to be the coldest include Montana, Minnesota and the Dakotas. The National Weather Service in Glasgow, Mont., said people may experience symptoms of frostbite in 10 minutes and wind chills could “dip into the minus-50s by Sunday morning.” Some spots in northern North Dakota and Montana could see temperatures “dip into the minus 30s.”

Meanwhile, in the Upper Midwest, cities including Madison and Minneapolis will experience wind chills below zero on Monday.

In the southern Plains, temperatures will fall in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Dallas may see temperatures fall to 20 degrees on Monday while Oklahoma City is expected to be in the 20s. The cold air will also affect Florida which is expected to see temperatures drop in the 30s in the northern part of the state.

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The Northeast will see cold weather all the way south into the Carolinas and Georgia, which will experience temperatures dipping into the 40s, below normal for this time of year.

The Pacific Northwest will also see low temperatures for this time of year, 20 degrees below average to be exact.

The National Weather Service urged residents to stay indoors this weekend as the arctic air mass hits the area bringing the “dangerously cold wind chills.” Areas from the West Coast to the East Coast will also experience heavy snowfall in some areas.