There’s A Polar Vortex Headed Our Way — Here’s What You Need To Know

Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
Dust off your fur-lined boots and fish that parka out of the back of your closet, because many of us are finally about to see some serious wintery weather. It's not just about to get cold, it's about to be colder than it has been throughout all of 2016. The Washington Post reports, "a punishing blast of Arctic air will plunge into the northern half of the Lower 48 in five to seven days, dispensing some of the most frigid air since 2014 or 2015 in some areas." So, who exactly is this cold wave going to affect and what temperatures can we expect to see? Don't worry, we've got the lowdown. On Sunday, the northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Plains are expected to get the first taste of the cold snap. From there, the cold weather will head east, hitting Chicago on Tuesday. The Northeast will finally feel the polar vortex's effects in the middle of next week. By the time it hits the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, the intensity of the cold will have eased up a bit, but the temperatures are still expected to be 15 to 30 degrees colder than normal. That might sound bad, but just wait until you hear what the Midwest will be dealing with. According to the Washington Post, temperatures from Chicago to western Montana are predicted to be anywhere from 30 to 50 degrees colder than normal on Wednesday morning. And, from the Great Lakes through the Dakotas and Wyoming, temperatures will most likely be in the negatives. With wind chill, it could feel like 30 or 40 degrees below zero. Yikes. Feeling apprehensive about leaving the house during this time? We don't blame you. The good news is, this insanely cold weather is only expected to last about five days, so you won't have to hibernate for too long.

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