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See North America's Frozen Face

Nov 18, 2014 06:29 PM EST
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(Photo : NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters) CLICK TO ENLARGE

If you haven't already, it's time to stoke the fireplace, break out the blankets, and prepare for a heck of a heating bill. That's because the face of winter has descended upon North America. Well, that's at least according to new satellite imagery from the NOAA and NASA.

A new infrared image from the NOAA's Goes-East satellite shows a great portion of the mid and northeastern US cloaked in a sheet of icy whites and grays, showing us the bitter cold that has descended from an already shivering Canada.

"We invert the display of infrared emission to make cold cloud tops appear white, frozen land grey, and warm water dark," Dennis Chesters of NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said, explaining the picture in a recent statement.

The result is a starkly grey landscape, spotted with your occasional dark lake in the southeast, while chilled white clouds hover above.

According to the NOAA, this just reflects what has been going on all Monday and Tuesday this week, when freeze and frost warnings stretched from the upper Great Lakes to Florida.

And unfortunately, the cold isn't going to ease up any time soon. What's driving this pressing cold season is a deep low pressure system that pushes polar air away from northern Canada and towards the United States.

"Well below average temperatures are forecast to reach the Gulf Coast, with most of the Mid-Atlantic States barely getting above freezing Tuesday and Wednesday," NASA forebodingly reported. "In the Midwest, periods of lake effect snow are forecast to continue south and east of the Great Lakes through Wednesday."

Temperatures should again start to rise on Thursday, but that will only be a temporary reprieve. The winter solstice is a mere month away, marking what could be the coldest day in the year - the calendar's shortest day and longest night. Makes you shiver just thinking about it!

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