Subzero Cold Seizing Minneapolis to NYC Next Week

December 10, 2010; 7:10 AM ET
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Play video For more details on next week's brutal cold blast and the monster snowstorms on the way before Christmas, click on this video.

Millions of people across the eastern half of the country are in for a shock next week as brutally cold arctic air invades the region.

It only happens about once or twice a decade that we see air this frigid spilling into the Upper Midwest during the month of December.

Even if actual temperatures don't fall below zero, horrendous winds will make it feel that way from Minneapolis to Chicago, New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C.

The arctic air blasting in will by far be the coldest yet this season, and likely one of the worst of this entire winter in some places, including all the way to the Southeast and even Florida.

Rarity of the Cold Coming

The painful cold will first seize the Upper Midwest on the heels of a blizzard this weekend. Temperatures will likely fail to rise above zero in Minneapolis Sunday.

While subzero highs occur almost every winter in Minneapolis, it is quite rare for them to show up in December. In fact, over the past decade, only two other times (in 2000 and 2008) has a high temperature below zero been recorded in December.

Similarly in the Chicago area, where high temperatures are expected to stay in the single digits Monday, there have only been two times in the last 10 years when the thermometer failed to reach the 10-degree mark.

Highs in Detroit and Indianapolis Monday are forecast to be in the teens, a feat that doesn't happen all too often in December either.

For the first time this season, New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C., will all record highs in the 20s and lows in the teens Tuesday and/or Wednesday.

This graphic shows expected AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures at 7 a.m. Tuesday, with purple representing areas where values will be below zero.

If the Cold Weren't Enough, Just Wait for the Winds

While actual temperatures will be frigid, it's the wind that will really have people reeling in disgust next week.

AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures, which provide a measure of how cold it feels with the wind factored in, will be well below zero in Minneapolis for several days straight starting Saturday night. These values will reach as low as 30 below zero Saturday night into Sunday morning.

People in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo and perhaps Indianapolis will all endure a 36- to 48-hour period of subzero RealFeel® temperatures during this arctic blast. These values could exceed 20 below zero in Chicago Sunday night and Buffalo Monday night.

In Indianapolis, Cleveland and Detroit, RealFeel® temperatures will dip past 10 below zero at times early next week.

In New York City and Boston, the nighttime and morning hours Tuesday through Wednesday will be the most brutal with RealFeel® temperatures near or below zero.

The new severe cold wave will create another intense lake effect snow event.

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