One Arctic blast after another has been hitting the United States, sweeping down from Canada to cause massive snowstorms and bitterly cold weather. From the Plains through the Midwestern hub of Chicago north to the coast of New England to the cities of Boston, New York and Washington, DC, the snow and “dangerously cold” temperatures show no sign of abating, notes USA Today.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting unseasonably cold temperatures and driving winds. These conditions, set to move into the Plains and Upper Midwest, will result in below-zero highs and wind chill temperatures approaching -60° F degrees in some areas. Such temperatures can cause exposed flesh to freeze in less than 10 minutes, warns the NWS.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was one of the first to announce the closure of all schools in the state for Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, with record cold expected. Other school districts are taking a wait-and-see approach, with some in northern Illinois predicting closures, should wind chills reach levels of -20° F or colder.
Next storm predicted by the NWS
In other areas of the country, wind chills are expected to dip into the single digits (Mid-Atlantic) to -10° to -20° for New England in the coming days. The next winter storm predicted by the NWS is set to bring heavy snow to the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys beginning on Sunday, Jan. 5. Icy conditions are expected for the Deep South and Northeastern section of the nation.
According to the NWS, “the nation will continue to be dominated by arctic intrusions bringing reinforcing shots of cold air,” moving from the Plains and Midwest eastward into New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. Chicago’s high on Monday is predicted to be -11° F, with wind chills ranging to -30° F below or colder.
Before the full blast of the Arctic air moves in, however, heavy snow and ice will spread across the Plains and Great Lakes region, with cities like St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo expected to get the worst snowfalls from the pending weather system.
Deaths so far
Since the ravaging storm that hit most of the eastern half of the country on Thursday, at least 13 deaths have been attributed to the storm. “Slick roads were blamed for traffic deaths in Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois,” according to USA Today. One elderly woman with Alzheimer’s froze to death as she meandered away from her home in the western part of New York state.
Weather helps make a political point
At least one New Yorker was out dealing with the snow at his Park Slope home on Friday, following the latest massive snowfall: New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, was photographed shoveling in front of his Brooklyn residence. Just days into his new term, the mayor tweeted New Yorkers the website where they can follow the progress of snow removal in the city, PlowNYC.
His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, was widely criticized for the problems of snow removal following the major snowstorm of 2010, where residents complained mightily about snow-filled avenues.