Deep freeze hits Canada, US

05:41, Jan 05 2014
US snow storm
Getting ready to shovel snow in Detroit, Michigan.
US snow storm
A man rides a sled on Cedar Hill in Central Park in New York.
US snow storm
Crews clear snow in Fenway Park, home of baseball's Boston Red Sox, in Boston, Massachusetts.
US snow storm
Waves crash into houses in Scituate, Massachusetts.
US snow storm
Snowshoes are the only way to travel in Scituate.
US snow storm
Making snowmen in Central Park in New York.
US snow storm
Images from Nasa's Aqua satellite shows the massive winter storm moving up the eastern seaboard.
Snow in New York
A man jogs through the snow in Riverside Park in upper Manhattan in New York City.
A man photographs the Korean War Veterans Memorial after a heavy snow storm in Washington DC on January 3, 2014.
A man photographs the Korean War Veterans Memorial after a heavy snow storm in Washington DC on January 3, 2014.
A man falls while slipping on ice during freezing rain on Roosevelt Island, a borough of Manhattan in New York.
A man falls while slipping on ice during freezing rain on Roosevelt Island, a borough of Manhattan in New York.
snow1
Jamie Aitken, a Kiwi living in Carmel, Indiana, took these photos around his apartment complex. He estimates there's been about 22cm of snow there.
snowgal2
Jamie Aitken, a Kiwi living north of Indianapolis, reports that the wind has just started to whip up there.
snow1
Michelle Scott is holidaying in the US and sent these snaps of the snow blanketing Washington DC.
snow1
Michelle Scott is holidaying in the US and sent these snaps of the snow blanketing Washington DC.
snow1
Kiwi Craig McNaughton sent this photo of his daughter Madeleine at their house in Chicago. "It's hard to tell but the snow she is on is actually about 18 inches (45cm) deep," he said.
Snow shark
The Chicago River starting to freeze over and steaming in the cold.
Snow shark
There are lots of warnings about ice falling off buildings in Chicago, Ian Sutton says.
Snow shark
Ice crystals on Ian Sutton's hotel room window.
Green Bay cold
People walk into the wind outside the Brown County Courthouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where temperatures dipped to -11 to -22 celcius.
Chicago snow
A woman walks through a gust of blowing snow in frigid temperatures in Chicago.
Detroit snow
A Detroit resident clears snow from around her car.
Washington DC cold
A woman is layered up to protect against the cold in Washington DC.
Washington DC cold
A frozen Chicago is shown in this snap from pilot Hank Cain.
Washington DC cold
Ice forms on the shore of the East River in New York.
Washington DC cold
Water mist blows over the East River in New York as a result of low temperatures.
Washington DC cold
Ice forms on the shore of the East River in New York.
Washington DC cold
A man keeps his face covered as he walks down the street during bitter cold temperatures in Detroit.
Washington DC cold
James Diers attempts to jump start his car in Minneapolis.
Washington DC cold
Satellite imagery of the polar vortex covering the United States.
Washington DC cold
The cold makes it inside an Amtrak train.
Washington DC cold
A frozen berry is found in Toronto.
Washington DC cold
A person struggles to walk in the strong wind gusts, in Burton, Michigan.
Washington DC cold
Teresa Wooldridge has a hard time finding the path to clear snow in front of Brands Park on the Northwest Side of Chicago.
Washington DC cold
Pedestrians walk across 7th Street in St. Paul, Minneapolis.
Washington DC cold
A homeless man braves the cold in Washington DC.
Washington DC cold
A person walks past a snow covered bus shelter in downtown Chicago.
Washington DC cold
A frozen wall on a beach in Chicago.
Washington DC cold
Marcos Mercado is prepared for the cold and steam as he walks by a vent on the way to the doctor in North Philadelphia.

Many parts of the US Midwest are bracing for a blast of Arctic air this weekend that could bring some of the coldest temperatures in two decades before advancing to the Northeast, where residents are still digging out from a deadly snowstorm.

The deep freeze is set to hit the northern US plains, including North and South Dakota, and through the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

It will be some of the coldest weather to grip the region in two decades, with blizzard conditions expected in the Central Plains and Great Lakes regions, forecasters said.

"The last really big Arctic outbreak was 1994," said Bob Oravec, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. "Outbreaks like this don't occur every day."

In northeastern Canada, about 110,000 customers were without power due to a transformer fire on Saturday linked to heavy snow, government officials and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said.

The push of Arctic air could bring record low temperatures from Montana to Michigan, before moving the Northeast, where it will arrive by early Tuesday, forecasters said.

Temperatures in Chicago could drop to about minus 29 Celsius. Pittsburgh could see temperatures about minus 24 Celsius by early Tuesday.

Temperatures were forecast to fall to 30 below in parts of the north central United States early Sunday morning, and in Grand Forks, North Dakota, wind chills were expected to exceed 50 below. A high of 19 below is forecast for Sunday.

"You grin and bear it and bundle up," said Rachel Osowski, a clerk at Hugo's Supermarket in Grand Forks. "You have to survive and function, you can't let the weather stop you."

In such conditions, frostbite can set in on exposed skin within five minutes, forecasters warned.

CLOSED SCHOOLS

Preparing for the dangerous weather, officials in several states asked residents to use extra precautions when outdoors.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has ordered all public schools in the state closed on Monday to protect children from dangerously cold weather.

Chicago schools will be open Monday despite the cold but officials advised parents to "use their own discretion in deciding whether to send their child to school''.

In Pittsburgh, the transition team for Mayor-elect Bill Peduto said his inauguration ceremony on Monday would be moved from the steps of the local government building to an indoor venue because of the weather.

Officials in Kentucky, which could see up to 20 cm of snow and freezing temperatures, were warning people to avoid road travel and stay indoors.

"If you don't need to be out, stay in, stay home," said Buddy Rogers, spokesman for Kentucky Emergency Management.

Schools will remain closed in Nashville, Tennessee, until Wednesday, a day after winter break was supposed to end, local officials said.

The storm comes on the heels of a massive weather system that slammed the US Midwest and Northeast just after New Year's Day, causing several deaths, grounding thousands of flights and forcing schools and government offices to close.

At the Best Western motel in Bemidji, Minnesota, some drivers stopped for the night because of the cold, connecting their cars to special heaters to keep the engines from freezing, said motel manager Monica Horn.

A total of 1,266 flights were cancelled across the United States and 6,036 flights delayed on Saturday, with Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey among the most affected, according to tracking firm FlightAware.com.

Molly Cox, in New York City for New Year's Eve, said she missed her Friday night flight home to Denver because LaGuardia Airport was "a disaster".

"With all the cancellations, all of the airlines seem to be having this kind of chaos," she said.

Boston was especially hard-hit by the first major storm of 2014, logging about 45 cm of snow on Friday, while some towns north of New England's largest city were dealing with close to 60 cm of accumulated snow.

But life has begun to return to normal in Boston. The city lifted its snow emergency at 5 pm on Friday.

New York City got about 18 cm of snow yesterday and was slammed with overnight air temperatures hovering under the freezing mark. Washington received more than 5 cm of snow in the storm, Philadelphia roughly 13 cm and Hartford, Connecticut 18cm. 


Advertisement

Midwest cold
EXTREME COLD: Temperatures in midwest states in the US could reach as low as -31F (-35C), with wind chills as low as -70F (-57C) as a 'polar vortex' heads down from Canada.
US storm graphic
The storm's path.

Reuters