Foxes are packing their packing boxes for Christmas as the world braces for a second snowstorm.
The North American winter is likely to continue into early next week with more snow and sleet falling, with the storm forecast to bring snow to the US, the European Union and Japan.
The US and Canada have already received snow and icy showers, with parts of the UK and New Zealand expected to see temperatures as high as -30C.
Meanwhile, Canada and the US have been preparing for the prospect of even worse conditions, with a report from the Department of Environment warning of the risk of snow and ice in parts of Alaska and the Northwest Territories, and even in parts for northern Mexico.
The department said there was a “high likelihood” of more snowfall in Alaska and parts of Siberia, where the cold air will bring snow.
It said that in areas that had been hit by winter storms earlier in the year, the chance of snowfall was increased by about five per cent.
“There is a high likelihood that the conditions for snowfall will worsen in the coming weeks, as the cold front moves north,” the department said.
In the US states of New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey, a forecast for more than 20cm of snow is expected for parts of that state, with up to 6cm of ice expected in parts.
In Canada, the snow will also be heavy and cold.
In Pennsylvania, snow is predicted for parts in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey area and snow is forecast in the Great Lakes region.
In California, snow will fall in the southern part of the state, including Los Angeles, and parts in Santa Cruz, the state capital.
“The snowpack has been declining over the past few weeks, which is creating the conditions that we’re seeing,” said Ken Bostrom, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“It’s a really interesting situation for the US because there’s not a lot of precipitation left over for the Pacific Ocean, which means that this will be the first winter in which the snowpack is not very active.”
We could see some really strong snowfalls along the coast.
“But the chance that the snow can fall during the holiday season is “probably not so great”, he said.
While the US could see the chance for snow falling from January 20 to February 2, with just a tiny amount of snow in between, that would still be far below the average annual snowfall for the winter months, he said, noting that it is likely snow will continue to fall in winter in other parts of Canada.”
This will be a very cold winter, and that is one of the reasons why we’re getting snow this time of year,” he said in a phone interview.
The winter storm will also leave behind its effects in the form of heavy snow, but the department warned that snow is unlikely to persist into next week, with it unlikely to accumulate to the point where it will cause a significant amount of damage.”
I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m pretty confident that the winter storm won’t be as damaging as it is at the moment,” Mr Bostroom said.
The National Weather Service said the National Weather Prediction Center has issued a winter storm watch for most of the continental United States.