Brrr... It's Cold Out There!

Bitter cold weather grips the Northeast

Jan 24, 2011 | By Suzanne Zimbler

Kids who live in northern U.S. states are used to having class cancelled every now and then because of snow. But on Monday, a number of schools across the Northeast closed their doors for a different reason: dangerously cold outdoor temperatures.

Throughout the region, temperatures fell below zero. Schools in western and northern Pennsylvania, across upstate New York and parts of Vermont and New Hampshire cancelled classes or delayed openings to protect students from the cold.

The Big Chill

The wind chill in some parts of the Northeast made it feel as cold as 25 to 30 degrees below zero. Wind chill advisories—warnings about the danger of staying outside in the cold for too long—were issued throughout the region.

Even those northerners who are used to cold weather felt the effects of the frigid conditions. In Montpelier, Vermont, the temperature was -21º at 7 a.m. Kelly Walsh's car would not start, so she walked to an auto parts store to buy a new battery. "I usually really like [the cold]," she said. " Today is a bit of a nuisance."

"It takes your breath away if you're not ready for it," said Dan Giroux, who works at a snowmobile-rental shop in Greenville, Maine. Most of the store's vehicles went unused—for most people, it was too cold to ride around outside.

Staying Safe

At the Sugarloaf ski resort, in Maine, most people chose to stay inside. A number of lifts were shut down for safety reasons. Still, a handful of skiers ventured outside to the slopes. "We have a few people skiing—not many," said spokesperson Ethan Austin.

In New York, the city doubled the number of outreach vans it sends looking for homeless people on cold days. "Our priority is to make sure [people] are safe and warm," said Seth Diamond, who works for New York City's Department of Homeless Services.

The cold was expected to last until Tuesday. But more wintery weather is on the way: meteorologists say another snowstorm is approaching the Northeast.