01 February, 2019, 05:11 | Author: Marie Harrington
More than 250 million Americans have now experienced the blast of Arctic air that brought record-breaking cold to parts of the Midwest this week.
A forecast for warmer weather by the weekend offered little comfort to those enduring icy conditions, brutal winds and temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees. As of 6:45 a.m., temperatures were 30 degrees below zero.
Many normal activities shut down and residents huddled inside as the National Weather Service forecast plunging temperatures from one of the coldest air masses in years.
The shores of Lake Michigan near Montrose Beach in Chicago was a sea of white after a blast of Arctic air from the polar vortex brought unsafe, bone-chilling cold to a wide swathe of the United States on Tuesday.
Norris Camp, in northwest Minnesota, was the coldest location in the United States on Wednesday after temperatures there dropped to minus-48 degrees, measured by an official with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. On Wednesday, the National Weather Service announced that temperatures should become moderate again later in the week.
"This morning is the worst of the worst in terms of the cold", Orrison said. Beneath this lay a dense layer of arctic air that was pushed south over the US.
Due to the low temperature, states of emergency were issued in Wisconsin, Illinois, and MI. Several other locations in Minnesota and North Dakota plunged to unsafe lows, including Warren, Minnesota (minus-47); Lisbon, North Dakota (minus-46); and Park Rapids, Minnesota (minus-42).
Record low temperatures were also reported in some towns in Iowa and Wisconsin.
Residents of Grand Forks, North Dakota, faced a bone-chilling -35 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chill temperatures as low as -63, and it was -27 degrees in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Meteorologists added that frostbite could be possible within just 10 minutes due to the intense cold. The condition results in a loss of feeling and color in affected areas.
Beginning signs of redness or pain in any skin area may be a sign of frostbite starting to form.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that cold weather is responsible for the majority of weather-related fatalities.
At least eight deaths have been linked to the system, including an elderly IL man who was found several hours after he fell trying to get into his home.
University of Iowa student Gerald Belz, 18, died after he was found unresponsive behind a campus building, while a 75-year-old man was struck and killed by a snow plough near Chicago. The world now experiences record-obliterating hot weather almost twice as often as record cold.
"Say we get a 70-degree swing in a few days?" "People can't last outside even for minutes". Mail service won't be restored in MI until February 1, officials said.
It is extremely cold in the Midwestern United States, where forecasters are warning of "life-threatening extreme cold".
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Even parts of the South, such as the mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee and upper Georgia, would be in the single digits, he said.
Before the worst of the cold begins to lift, the National Weather Service says Chicago could hit lows early Thursday that break the city's record of minus 27 set on January 20, 1985.
In Detroit, General Motors Co suspended operations at 11 MI plants after a utility made an emergency appeal to conserve natural gas.
All Amtrak services on its short-distance trains and most long-distance service trains will also be canceled Thursday, Amtrak said.
It's been more than two decades since a similar Arctic blast covered a swath of the Midwest and Northeast.
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