Based on this forecast, AccuWeather.com Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi says this month could turn out to be the coldest January for the nation as a whole since 1985.
While there has been outstanding regionalized cold in January in recent years, Bastardi points out that the U.S. has not experienced this type of coast-to-coast cold since the 1980s.
Record-smashing cold already gripped a large portion of the West the first few days of the month with snow even falling in Las Vegas Monday. Bitter arctic air has also made a return to the northern Plains, while the East and South experienced a dramatic cooldown since the weekend.
More waves of arctic air will invade the country, starting late this week and continuing through next week and beyond. The period from Jan. 10-20 is when Bastardi expects the core of the cold to be in place, with the northern Plains in the heart of it.