When could we feel the bitterness of winter weather in Illinois?

DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick used the words "polar vortex" during a Tuesday conversation with RFD Radio, which means significantly colder air is on the way for Illinois.

“It’s really going to get going over western Canada and the western U.S. late this week, but next week it’s going to start to push itself a little bit further east,” he said.

The polar vortex will initially impact the northern plains into Minnesota.

“There’s going to be a nice boundary from Kansas through Illinois into Michigan that kind of keeps that really cold air at bay,” Baranick said. “Unfortunately, though, once we turn the calendar into January that front is not going to hold very well.”

The front is expected to slip to the south and likely impact Illinois the first of the year.

“Over the Canadian prairies and into the northern plains it’s going to be highs below zero,” he said. “Once it makes its way into Illinois it will be single digit highs and lows well below zero.”

There is still some uncertainty with the track, but he said “models have been fairly consistent.”