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Oh, It's Winter: Huge Swath Of U.S. Will Be Bitterly Cold

Winter has arrived in the United States: Over the next day or so, the jet stream will dip and bring some bone-chilling temperatures to a huge swath of the country.

Meteorologists at the Weather Channel say the winter storm will "bring a swath of snow more than 2,000 miles long from the Cascades and Northern Rockies across the Midwest and into the Northeast through Tuesday."

But the story with this system is cold, not snow: According to WISC-TV, some parts of Wisconsin are expected to dip to around 10 below zero and when you factor in windchill, it will feel like 20 to 30 below. This weather system will make it feel like winter in places from New York all the way down to Florida.

This map, from the National Weather Service, gives you an idea of how widespread the cold will be:

Weather.com has an explanation for what's going on:

"Winter Storm Gorgon will be driven mostly by an energetic disturbance in the jet stream — that fast-moving ribbon of air about 30,000 feet above the ground that usually blows in a general west-to-east direction across North America.

"Disturbances in the jet stream can sometimes spin up massive low-pressure systems, but this one is not expected to do that. Instead, a weak low will develop over western Montana late Sunday night and then zip southeast across the Central Plains Monday before moving east into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic Monday night into Tuesday. These systems are often referred to as "clippers" – though this one isn't strictly an "Alberta clipper" since it will be forming in Montana."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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