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Polar Invasion: U.S. Braces for Freezing Temperatures, Heavy Snow

Wicked Weather Heads to the Midwest 1:38

A massive storm packing arctic air moved eastward Sunday, promising a deep chill for two-thirds of the U.S. and heavy snow from Montana to Michigan, according to meteorologists.

The "season's first significant snow" will begin Sunday in Montana and the Dakotas, according to The Weather Channel. As the storm moves east through Monday, it will pick up strength and drop greater amounts of snow, delivering up to 18 inches around the Great Lakes by Tuesday. Commuters are warned to be careful of slick and slushy roads Monday morning in parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, northern Wyoming and Montana. The National Weather Service cautioned that high winds would gust the falling or accumulated snow, adding to the dangerous conditions.

The arctic outbreak is also expected to set record low temperatures in some parts of the U.S.

The cold front will hit Montana and the Dakotas late Sunday, according to The Weather Channel, which said temperatures will plummet from a high of around 60 degrees to the teens in some places. A low of 12 degrees was expected in northern Montana overnight, following a daytime high of 24 degrees, according to Weather.com.

And the front will extend all the way to the Texas Panhandle, which can expect temperatures in the 40s, The Weather Channel said. Parts of northern Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas were under hard freeze watches on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures will hover below average in the central and eastern U.S. through much of the week, Weather.com predicted.

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— Cassandra Vinograd and Elisha Fieldstadt