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Alaska Storm Weakens, But Big Chills Ahead for Lower 48

The explosive storm surpassing the intensity of 2012's Superstorm Sandy is expected to bring unseasonably frigid temperatures to much of the U.S.
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The remnants of a Pacific typhoon weakened Saturday after pounding Alaska’s sparsely-populated Aleutian Islands a day earlier — but the storm is expected to mean big chills for the Lower 48 this week, meteorologists said.

The strongest wind gusts were felt on Shemya, an island on the far western edge of the Aleutians, which saw 98 mph winds, the National Weather Service said. As the storm moves eastward, it is expected to help generate a high-pressure system the will send arctic air blanketing the central plains and beyond.

As it approached Alaska, forecasters said the storm could be more intense than Superstorm Sandy when it swamped the Northeast two years ago. Weather watchers in Alaska — and Twitter — labeled the storm the "Bering Bomb." But by Saturday the peak of the storm had passed, and the fiercest winds occurred where there were no people, Shaun Baines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage, said.

On Monday, the high temperature for Great Falls, Montana, is expected to be 25 degrees, or 20 degrees lower than normal for this time of year. The high on Tuesday in Bismarck, North Dakota, is only expected to be 25, or 16 below normal. And on Wednesday, the mercury will only push to 51 in Dallas and barely above freezing in Cleveland.

By late next week, temperatures will be well below average as far south as the Gulf Coast. The system is also expected to bring snow to parts of the Rockies and Plains next week.



— Erin McClam

The Associated Press contributed to this report.