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Date: 1/7/2013

Title: Weather Blog: Polar Express

After a slow start to the winter season, most of the USA has experienced colder temperatures, snow and unsettled weather since mid December. Even snow fell in El Paso, TX and some of the far southern plains over the past week. However, the colder weather that started in mid December may pale in comparison to what is coming to most of the USA later this week and into next week.

All indications suggest that cold air, currently building up in the Arctic and across central Canada may cut loose and head south across a large chunk of the lower 48 states by late this week and into the following week. The pattern we see developing has the potential to bring bitter cold temperatures, bitter cold wind chills and some snow to many areas of the nation from the Rockies east.

Ahead of this cold blast, temperatures will moderate across the central and eastern USA before temperatures plunge by late in the weekend and into early next week.

The potential for dangerous livestock weather exists with this cold wave, especially in the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Sub zero temperatures and sub zero wind chill values are highly likely in these areas. Very little of the USA will be spared from this cold wave, especially east of the Rockies.

We expect the first initial surge of cold air and snow to hit the northern Rockies of MT and ID late Wednesday before spreading south into WY and CO Thursday and Friday. The Arctic air will spread east and south into the central and southern plains by the weekend. The most severe cold will likely settle into ND, SD, MN, WI, IA, MI as well as portions of eastern NE and northern areas of IL, IN and OH. There could be significant ice and snow along the Arctic boundary in the southern and eastern areas of the central plains. Snow could fall next week in portions of the deep south (TX, OK, AR, AL, MS).

If this Arctic surge comes in as advertised it will easily surpass any of the cold waves we experienced last winter.

This weather blog is provided weekly through the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The content and graphics are written and provided by DayWeather, Inc.