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Looking To Escape The Deep Freeze? Head To Alaska

The National Weather Service is warning, once again, that brutally cold weather is going to be spreading across much of the nation, from the upper Midwest down to the deep South and up through the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England.

The Weather Service even throws an exclamation point into its forecast for this week:

"The airmass and the associated surface high pressure with it is literally coming from the North Pole and heading nearly due south into the central U.S. by Tuesday!"

Among the places where things are particularly miserable if you don't like extremely cold temperatures: Minnesota.

Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson tells our Newscast Desk that it feels like it's 20-degrees below zero (or colder) in many parts of the state as winds blow through. What's worse, he says, is that "a Canadian natural gas pipeline explosion has crippled natural gas supplies to part of the region. Emergency officials are asking residents in the Red River Valley and the Brainerd area to keep their thermostats at 60 to conserve fuel." For many other homeowners, there's this problem: Propane prices are up sharply in the state.

Meanwhile, "for California and the Inter-Mountain West, a much quieter weather pattern will prevail for the next few days as high pressure stays in charge. This is providing pleasant temperatures for this time of year."

We also want to take note of what's happening in Alaska. As AccuWeather.com reports, "on multiple dates this month, temperatures have been warmer in Alaska than they have been in Texas, Louisiana and much of the Atlantic coast, including Florida. Nome, Alaska, which lies at 64.5 degrees north latitude has experienced at least seven days so far this month where temperatures have climbed above freezing. The normal high for Nome is 13 F."

Forecasters think this pattern — a jet stream that's pushing brutal cold across much of the continental U.S. while there's relatively warm weather up in parts of Alaska — won't shift until sometime next month.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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