Following nearly two weeks of record-breaking freezing temperatures, a severe winter storm is forming off of the east coast, one that resembles a winter hurricane in many respects, and will run north from Florida through to Atlantic Canada. Aside from being a cyclone that is expected to deliver wind gusts of up to 60-70 mph, the storm is also forecast to develop hurricane-level low barometric pressures, the key ingredient for a strong storm.
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An mass of cold Arctic air has descended from the north over the continent, causing temperatures to plunge across Canada and the eastern half of the United States. Many regions between Nunavut and Ontario are seeing temperatures well below zero — Fahrenheit, that is (-32ºC), cold enough to crack windows in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Although low-temperature records in many regions aren’t being broken, these conditions are encroaching on century-old records for the duration of regional cold snaps.
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A major cold snap is forecast to push south into the contiguous United States over the Christmas holidays, with regions between North Dakota and Colorado experiencing temperatures 20ºF to 40ºF below normal over Christmas Eve. Conversely, the east coast may see above-seasonal temperatures, with a forecast high of 71ºF in Washington D.C, and 62ºF in New York City on Christmas Day.

"If you’re West of the Mississippi River on Christmas Day, then you may want to ask for coal in your stocking," tweets meteorologist Ryan Maue, with weather.us. "Extreme cold arriving via Polar Express. Off the charts Arctic cold."
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 Warning: The video attached to this article will be a heartbreaker for some readers.

A chance encounter between a malnourished polar bear and the conservation group Sea Legacy provided photographer Paul Nicklen with the chance to document the sad state of a polar bear reduced to scavenging through garbage cans, unable to hunt due to the severe reduction in ice flows caused by global warming.

Nicklen is quite familiar with these bears, having grown up in Canada’s far north, and immediately realized that the bear was in distress. The sight affected the team deeply: "We stood there crying — filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," according to Nicklen.
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