85 million Americans face sub-zero wind chills amid another winter storm

Weather

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — First the snow, now the bitter cold — 85 million Americans face sub-zero windchills this week as another winter storm streaks across the northern Plans and the Midwest.

A clipper storm will exit the northern states by way of New England Tuesday with patchy accumulating snow.

Snow is expected to taper to flurries around the Upper Midwest and the central Appalachians, but pockets of heavy lake-effect snow are likely to continue.

Bitter cold will continue into the middle of the week for the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

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Low temperatures will fall below zero as far south as central Illinois and even into parts of northern Indiana by Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Wind chills will range from -30 to -50 across Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

In Chicago, the coldest temperatures in nearly a year are on the way.

It was February 7, 2021, when the mercury bottomed out at -7 degrees. Should the official thermometer drop to -8 degrees or colder, it would be the coldest reading since late January 2019.

The combination of bitterly cold temperatures and biting northwest winds will produce dangerous wind chills of -5 degrees to -20 degrees  Tuesday morning; and even colder Wednesday morning: -15 degrees to -30 degrees.

Frostbite can develop on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes with such brutal wind chills.

Bundle up from head to toe in multiple layers if you must be outdoors for any extended period of time.

Credit: Catherine Schutte via Storyful

The good news is this cold spell promises to hit hard but will not be prolonged. Temperatures will moderate by Thursday, within striking distance of freezing. 

A fresh batch of arctic air will sprawl over the Central states, while temperatures will moderate a bit along the Atlantic Seaboard. A storm is forecast to spread a chilly rain eastward along the Gulf Coast from southeastern Louisiana to Florida.

Further west, another clipper storm will drop southward along the Rockies and High Plains with accumulating snow Tuesday through the night.

The same storm will bring snow and a wintry mix to parts of New Mexico and western Texas at midweek. Meanwhile, much of the Pacific Coast region will be dry.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WGN contributed to this report.

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