Cold Snap

A deep freeze grips the Midwest and Northeast 

Jan 23, 2013 | By Cameron Keady with AP reporting
MARK BUGNASKI—THE KALAMAZOO GAZETTE/AP

Temperatures in Michigan plunged so low that 11-year-old Demetrius Lamier, shown here, had to use extra caution while playing outdoors.

Brrr. It's cold outside! An extra-frigid mass of cold air has left the upper Midwest locked in a deep freeze, and much of the Northeast feeling its icy effects. From Montana to Maine, people are scrambling to stay warm and safe this week. “The bitter conditions [are] expected to persist into the weekend in the Midwest through the eastern half of the U.S.,” said Shawn DeVinny, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Water freezes as firefighters spray a warehouse that caught fire on January 22.
JOHN GRESS—REUTERS
Water freezes as firefighters spray a warehouse that caught fire on January 22.

Wintry Winds

The cold snap arrived late on Saturday evening, bringing bitter winds from Canada. The coldest location on record was Embarrass, Minnesota, which measured in at 36degrees below zero on Monday. Taking into account the safety of their students in the deadly deep freeze, many schools in the area either delayed opening or did not open at all.

In Connecticut, overnight temperatures dropped to near zero and are not expected to rise above ten degrees until the weekend. A ski resort in New Hampshire is planning to close on Wednesday and Thursday because of the extreme cold. Wildcat Mountain in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire says it is anticipating temperatures in the negative double digits with a wind chill of 48 degrees below zero. Winter conditions this bitter and harsh would be unsafe for skiers and mountain employees.

Dangerous Conditions

Along with chilly temperatures comes ice and snow. Cleveland, Ohio, is expecting snow for the next several days, along with winds at 20-25 miles per hour and gusts up to 35 miles per hour. As much as 12 inches of snowfall are anticipated for parts of New England, from eastern Massachusetts through Rhode Island, and eastern Maine.

As snow falls and the temperature continues to drop, people are preparing the best they can to stay warm. “I am wearing a Snuggie under a top and another jacket over that,” said Faye Whitbeck, a resident of International Falls, Minnesota, which is located near the Canadian border. Bundle up!