Subzero temperatures have run across the midwest and eastern U.S. from the Dakotas to New England, today. Water pipes burst and car batteries balked, forcing many businesses to close.
Homeless people went to shelters in droves, schools cancelled classes giving students a day off, and drivers had to take drive cautiously as millions of people bundled up to meet these subzero temperatures which have been tied to at least six deaths.
Schools closed in parts of Michigan and Illinois. A few schools closed in Minnesota, where February cold is the norm. 34,000 kids got the day off in Rochester, New York because of temperatures near zero. 90,000 kids got the day off in Wisconsin because of a temperature of 12 below zero and wind chill of 31 below.
This writer’s own Allentown School District had a 2 hour delay today.
The National Weather Service said that in Grand Forks, North Dakota, temperatures hit 31 below zero early Monday, 3 degrees lower than the records set in 1982 and 1967. In northern Minnesota, the temperature froze in at 42 below Monday morning.
Amtrak had to shut down passenger service in parts of New York state, where the cold was accompanied by as much as 2 feet of snow. In Illinois, the cold forced Amtrak officials to cancel two trains scheduled to run between St. Louis and Chicago Monday evening.
Frozen pipes even closed one downtown Chicago Starbucks for several hours Monday. Employee Jerry Berry, said that “We couldn’t brew coffee because it was so cold,” Berry said. “(This is) the worst day to have to have a situation like this.”
Senior forecaster with the Illinois (where temperatures dipped as low as 15 below) weather service. Mark Ratzer said optimistically that “the coldest of it is over” and said a low-pressure system and accompanying cloud cover should ease bitter temperatures slightly.
The Midwest will see snow from the lake effect near the Great Lakes, and an Alberta clipper in the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio River Valleys.
Temperatures are expected to remain well below average through the weekend across most of the Midwest. New York and across the Northeast.
Areas between Watertown and Syracuse, New York, could see an additional two feet of snow on top of the two to four feet of snow that’s already fallen over the last few days.
Lake-effect snows will continue through the weekend ahead.
Source: Yahoo News, Morning Call newspaper, Weather Channel