Arctic Blast Bears Down on Plains and Central US

An arctic blast was bearing down on much of the U.S. on Monday, promising temperatures well below average for parts of the Plains and the West later in the week, according to forecasters. Temperatures in some places are expected to drop to 45 degrees below average.

"In the last few hours the air mass was beginning to move into North Dakota and Minnesota," said Roy Lucksinger, The Weather Channel's principal meteorologist. "In the Plains and the West it is going to be dramatic." Minneapolis is expected to see temperatures in the single digits on Monday — compared with average highs of around 25 degrees Fahrenheit for this time of the year, Lucksinger said. Forecasters expected temperatures to hit highs of five degrees in Denver on Tuesday. The city normally sees high temperatures of around 43 degrees.

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The surge of freezing air should overtake almost all the West and Central U.S. by Tuesday, Lucksinger said. "Folks need to make sure to take warm clothing, scarves and things to cover their faces," Lucksinger said. "If you're traveling its good to keep water or rations if something were to happen to your car." Later in the week, light snow was forecast for Las Vegas. "Folks are not going to be sitting poolside," Lucksinger said.