Harsh cold, lake-effect snow pummel Great Lakes region

The majority of the country will see freezing temperatures by the end of the weekend, and many northern states will get a blanket of snow.

The same storm that walloped Oregon Wednesday is moving east towards the Great Lakes and will likely reach New England by Saturday.

Here’s what you can expect:
• Nearly 80 percent of the country will see below-freezing temperatures in the next week
• Wind-chill temperatures could reach 40 below zero in some northern states and 10 below farther south
• About 40 million people are under wind-chill advisories or warnings from Thursday through Friday morning

Blizzard conditions are expected to hit areas along the Great Lakes with strong winds and heavy snow into Friday morning.

Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in the Minneapolis area Friday evening into Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

Sub-freezing temperatures in the Northeast

New York and Washington, D.C. will plunge into sub-freezing temperatures over the next few days as the arctic blast sweeps east.
Strong winds could also be an issue. New York's Central Park could see wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour through early Friday morning -- along with bitter cold. High-wind warnings extend from New York through parts of Massachusetts where wind gusts could reach up to 60 mph in some locations from Cape Cod up into the Boston metro area.

High-wind warnings are in place for these areas and could cause travel delays from late Thursday into Friday morning.

The good news is that temperatures will rebound for some areas over the weekend. But the respite may be brief as the next arctic blast is expected to return to parts of the Midwest and Northeast by Sunday.

Portions of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota are expected see their coldest air in two years.

Chicago Bears game could break record

This weekend's matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers could be the coldest since the Bears started tracking kickoff temperatures.

The previous record was set December 22, 2008 -- also against the Packers. The kickoff temperature was 2 degrees, with a frigid -13 wind-chill temperature.

Chicago is poised to break that record Sunday.