Arctic air will blast much of US just before Christmas

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A man is covered in snow on Fenn Street in Pittsfield, Mass, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Credit: Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP

Forecasters are warning of treacherous holiday travel and life-threatening cold for much of the nation as an arctic air mass blows into the already-frigid southern United States.

“We’re looking at much-below normal temperatures, potentially record-low temperatures leading up to the Christmas holiday,” said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The “rare and hazardous arctic air mass will likely bring extreme and prolonged freezing conditions for southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana,” the National Weather Service in a special weather statement Sunday.

By Thursday night, temperatures will plunge as low as 13 degrees (minus 10.6 Celsius) in Jackson, Mississippi; and around 5 degrees (minus 15 Celsius) in Nashville, Tennessee, the National Weather Service predicts.

The incoming arctic air arrives as an earlier storm system in the northeastern U.S. gradually winds down after burying parts of the region under two feet (61 centimeters) of snow. More than 80,000 customers in New England were still without power on Sunday morning, according to, which tracks outages across the country.

For much of the U.S., the will get worse before it gets better. The coming week will bring the potential for a “significant winter storm” across the eastern two-thirds of the United States during the second half of the week, just before Christmas, according to the latest forecasts from the federal Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

A vehicle travels east along Broad Street in the city of Hazleton Pa., as seen from a cutout in the snow bank near the Hayden Family Center for the Arts on Friday, Dec.16, 2022. The passing storm left about 5 inches of snow. Credit: John Haeger/Standard-Speaker via AP

“The main story that will make weather headlines next week will be the massive expanse of frigid temperatures from the Northern Rockies/Northern Plains to the Midwest through the middle of the week, and then reaching the Gulf Coast and much of the Eastern U.S. by Friday and into the weekend,” the Weather Prediction Center warned.

“An extremely strong arctic front will usher in the coldest air of the season by a considerable margin with the expectation of widespread subzero readings for overnight lows from the Northern Rockies to the central/northern Plains and the Upper Midwest, reaching as far south as northern Oklahoma and southern Missouri.”

In Atlanta, where the low temperature is expected to drop below freezing early Monday morning, forecasters warn of even colder air by late in the week, according to the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City, Georgia. The low Friday night in Atlanta will be around 13 degrees (minus 10.6 Celsius) with the high temperature on Saturday still below the freezing mark at around 29 degrees (minus 1.7 Celsius), the Weather Service projects.

Florida will not have a white Christmas, but forecasters are expecting that weekend to be unusually cold throughout the state.

A crew from A’s Auto and Truck Repair in Guilford helps clean up one of the two three-vehicle crashes along Route 30 in Jamaica, Vt., during a snowstorm on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Credit: Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP

Northern Florida cities such as Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola have predicted lows in the 20s (minus 3 Celsius) on Christmas Eve, with highs of about 40 (4 Celsius). Orlando and Tampa are not expected to break 50 (10 Celsius) on Christmas Eve and even Miami isn’t expected to get out of the 50s (15 Celsius).

In the Northeast, utility companies brought in extra workers from other states but were hampered by slick roads and dangerous conditions.

“This was a heavy, wet snow so that had impacts on both travel and the infrastructure up across that area,” said Frank Pereira, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

A state plow truck clears the snow along Route 30 in Jamaica, Vt., during a snowstorm on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Credit: Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP

Vermont officials warned Saturday that some customers may not have their power restored for up to two to three days. The state was finding locations for potential warming centers in the hardest-hit areas in case they were needed, said.

Police across New England responded to hundreds of crashes or vehicles sliding off the road during the weekend storm. Maine State Police said Saturday night that they had responded to more than 180 crashes since Friday evening. There had only been minor injuries, state police said.

© 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Arctic air will blast much of US just before Christmas (2022, December 18)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell

Hexbyte Glen Cove

dendritic cells stained by PS100 was found in corneal epithelium. Credit: Zhiguo.he

WEHI researchers have uncovered a process cells use to fight off infection and cancer that could pave the way for precision cancer immunotherapy treatment.

Through gaining a better understanding of how this process works, researchers hope to be able to determine a way of tailoring immunotherapy to better fight .

Led by Dr. Dawn Lin and Dr. Shalin Naik and published in Nature Cell Biology, the research provides new insight into the way cells adapt to fight .

This research lays the foundation for future studies into the body’s response to environmental stressors, such as injury, infection or cancer, at a single cell level.

Flt3L hormone plays vital role in fighting off infection

Dendritic cells are that activate ‘killer’ T cells, which are vital for clearing viral infections, such as COVID-19, but also for triggering a response to cancers such as melanoma and bowel cancer.

The Flt3L hormone can increase dendritic cell numbers, helping the immune system to fight off cancer and infection.

Dr. Naik and his team studied developing immune cells at a single cell level to gain a deeper understanding of how the body uses these cells to trigger immune responses.

“There is one type of dendritic cell that the body uses to fight some infections and cancer. The Flt3L hormone increases numbers of this particular dendritic cell. We know quite well how the dendritic cell fights the cancer, but we don’t know how the Flt3L hormone increases the numbers of those dendritic cells,” he said

Single-cell barcoding provides vital clues to how dendritic cells function

Researchers used a single-cell ‘barcoding’ technique to uncover what happened when dendritic cells multiplied.

“By using cellular barcoding—where we insert short synthetic DNA sequences, we call barcodes inside cells—we were able to determine which cells produced dendritic cells in pre-clinical models,” Dr. Naik said.

“As a result of this research, we now better understand the actions of the Flt3L hormone that is currently used in cancer immunotherapy trials, and how it naturally helps the body fight cancer and infection. This is a first step to design better precision immunotherapy treatments for cancer.”

Using single cell technology to improve immunotherapy treatment

This research answers a 50-year-long question as to what causes a stem cell to react in response to immense stress, such as infection or inflammation.

“We have known that the Flt3L hormone increases the number of for decades but now there is a focus on applying this knowledge to cancer immunotherapy and potentially to infection immunotherapy as well,” Dr. Naik said.

“The next stage in our research is to create ‘dendritic cell factories’ using our new knowledge, to produce millions to billions of these infection fighting and then use those in immunotherapy treatments.”

“These findings are a vital first step to improving treatments for patients, to help them better fight cancer and infection.”

More information:
Dawn S. Lin et al. Single-cell analyses reveal the clonal and molecular aetiology of Flt3L-induced emergency dendritic cell development, Nature Cell Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41556-021-00636-7

Key steps discovered in production of critical immune cell (2021, March 2)
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