A nontropical low is scooting into the North Pacific, about to energize thanks to the Japan Current's warmer waters interacting with a cold trough digging in the low pressure's wake. Such actions work in the Atlantic during the cold season, creating powerhouse storm systems that rake Greenland, Iceland, and Western Europe.
In the case of Pacific storms, the impact areas include the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea. In other words, Deadliest Catch territory. This storm will intensify to under 960 millibars for a barometric pressure by Wednesday morning as it spins into the Bering Sea. That's relatively comparable to the '93 Superstorm, if not a bit stronger. Certainly not strongest storm ever territory but getting any nontropical storm into the 950's for a pressure point is quite strong.
Such storms aren't too unusual for the Northern Pacific -- where cold air from Siberia and Alaska interacts with the fleeting warm waters that push up through the Pacific off of the Japan coast. These storms do also occur in the Atlantic as well -- sometimes outdoing what the Pacific will provide in terms of strength.
This storm will ultimately bump up a ridge of high pressure aloft in Alaska for a few days, which will help bump the Plains storm that's bringing snow to Minneapolis today eastward and northeastward. We get the cooler air in response to the Plains storm on Friday and Saturday as highs in the 50's return after a couple of days of warmth.