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Once arctic air infiltrates the eastern United States later this week, it will hold firm through at least the middle of December and bring opportunities for snow.
Residents along the Atlantic coast may want to take advantage of the surge of milder air on Tuesday to put up Christmas decorations. The days of not needing heavier jackets and saving on heating costs are coming to an end.
Once the cold settles in, highs will be 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit lower when compared to Monday and Tuesday.
The cold is expected to spread across the South and into the Northeast at midweek, following a band of soaking rain.
As the cold air catches up with the back edge of the rain, snow may briefly fall in the higher terrain of the central and northern Appalachian Mountains Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Later this week, temperatures will struggle to climb much above freezing across the interior Northeast from Burlington, Vermont, to Buffalo and Albany, New York, to Pittsburgh.
Late-week highs will also range from near 40 F in Boston to the lower 40s in New York City to near 50 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta.
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Highs in early December typically range from the 30s in northern New England to a few degrees around the 50-degree mark in the mid-Atlantic.
Outside of the Midwest, fierce winds are not expected to usher in the initial wave of arctic air. That will prevent AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures from being significantly lower.
"Unlike previous events earlier this fall, the cold arriving at midweek will be slow to leave," AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido said.
"Through mid-December and potentially right up to the winter solstice (on Dec. 21), residents across the eastern U.S. will have to contend with the cold weather," he said.
Vido expects temperatures to continue to average 5-10 degrees below normal across the eastern U.S. through the middle of the month.
Waves of cold to bring snow opportunities
Around the Great Lakes, the opportunity for snow will come as soon as the cold blasts in.
Later in the week, AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring the possibility of the storm delivering snow to the Midwest and Northeast.
Whether any snow events in the middle of December come from the Midwest or track northeastward from the South Central states will depend on the jet stream pattern, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
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