The northern Plains states are experiencing subzero temperatures due to an Arctic blast that has arrived in the United States. As the week progresses, the arctic air is predicted to spread across the country, with as many as 30 states potentially experiencing subzero temperatures by Thursday or Friday.

The blast is expected to hit a large portion of the United States in the days before Christmas, according to meteorologists. It is anticipated that the sudden rush of extremely cold air will be accompanied by blizzard-like conditions that may prevent holiday travel and bitter, gusting winds that may cause wind chill temperatures to reach as low as minus 40 degrees in some places.

States in the Northern Plains, such as Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, have already experienced subzero temperatures and are anticipated to experience the longest arctic blast. The subzero temperatures started to make their way into Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, and Wisconsin on Tuesday, and it is anticipated that they will continue to make their way into the southern Plains states later this week.

Newsweek reported that 32 states will probably experience below-freezing temperatures this week, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Thomas Kines.

“The regions of North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana will experience the coldest temperatures. These states will experience lows in the 30s, particularly in Montana and Wyoming “said Kines. There may be a few places in Montana and Wyoming where it is below freezing.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the temperature will continue to drop.

According to an update from the NWS on Tuesday, “the aforementioned repository of dangerous arctic air over the northern Plains and western Canada is expected to dump southward following behind the system crossing the Pacific Northwest today.”

By Thursday, much of the Great Plains, the northern Great Basin, and the northern Rockies will experience subzero readings with minimum temperatures approaching minus 20 and minus 30 degrees over the northern tier.

Through the central and north-central United States, wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour could result in wind chill values of minus 40 degrees or lower. The NWS issued a severe cold warning that could result in frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

Subzero temperatures will arrive in Kansas by Thursday, and some meteorologists predict subzero lows in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle as well. The arctic blast will keep moving eastward, affecting the Midwestern states and bringing forecast lows of several degrees below zero to Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.

Along with the bitter cold, the United States will experience strong winds, blizzard-like conditions, heavy rain, and additional wind along the east coast.

By the end of the weekend, the Arctic blast will have passed through many states, but the northern Plains are expected to continue to experience below-freezing temperatures on Saturday and possibly reach the single digits by Sunday.

In other news, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the coast has left a California town in a “total mess,” according to local authorities.

A major water main break and the shaking of homes off their foundations brought about by the earthquake have left Rio Dell without power or water, a Humboldt County official said on Tuesday.

The “notable” 6.4-magnitude earthquake occurred early on Tuesday along California’s northern coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

According to preliminary data, Ferndale, California was located about 7.5 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake that struck the Pacific Coast. The earthquake was felt at around 2:34 in the morning local time.