A winter storm warning was issued Monday in Seattle and western Washington as the rest of the country braces for an arctic blast and blizzard in the days leading up to Christmas.
Between 2 and 6 inches of snow is expected in the Seattle area Monday night. National Weather Service (NWS). The city sent out an alert Monday saying people should avoid traveling Tuesday if possible and that emergency shelters are open.
Between 5 and 18 inches of snow is likely in the Olympic and Cascade mountains, with the heaviest snow falling over Snaqualmie and Stevens passes. Officials said the heaviest snow would fall on Tuesday, while snow in the mountains could continue into Wednesday.
Much of the country is expected to be bitterly cold this week as part of an arctic cold front. According to the NWS, temperatures will likely drop 25 to 35 degrees within a few hours as arctic air moves through the area.
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Snow flurries are forecast in parts of the west, and mid-south BC. east coast the agency warned.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph could drop wind chill temperatures to life-threatening lows of around -40 degrees across the central and north-central United States, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.
ARCTIC BLAST WILL BRING LIFE-DANGEROUS COLD TO MANY OF US BEFORE CHRISTMAS, FORECASTERS WARN
Wind chill warnings and watches were in effect in 17 states from Washington to Texas, NOAA said.
Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are forecast to hit much of the Midwest and Great Lakes beginning Wednesday and ending on Christmas Day.
Forecasters warned dangerous travel conditions before Christmas.
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“The next two days are your rest days. As we get to the end of the week, that’s when we see some major challenges, especially on Friday.” FOX meteorologist Britta Merwin said. “Friday is one of the biggest travel days we’ll see all week and that’s when we’ll see the most snow, the strongest winds and of course a lot of rain, especially on the East Coast.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.