Published: Wed, January 30, 2019
Research | By Dana Schwartz

Coldest temperatures in decades expected in Midwest

Coldest temperatures in decades expected in Midwest

Federal government workers in the Washington, D.C., area were allowed to leave two hours early, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

"That's quite unsafe. You're talking about frostbite and hypothermia issues very quickly, like in a matter of minutes, maybe seconds", Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center, told The Associated Press.

Wednesday is expected to be the worst. Flurries along with spotty snow showers are also likely across the area through tonight.

"If you live up in the Arctic Circle, you'd say this is pretty normal". "When you think about it in that sense, that's a big 'whoa'".

Roughly 212 million, or 72% of the continental United States population, will see temperatures drop below freezing over the next few days.

"Frostbites, hypothermia. and just people being out in the elements", one EMT worker described. Wind chills feel like the single digits to even below 0 degrees, especially as temperatures take a tumble through middle to late afternoon into the single digits.

Both airports were hit with roughly 3 inches of fresh snow by 6 a.m. Monday, according to the most recent snowfall totals from the National Weather Service.

"When the polar vortex is weak or 'perturbed, ' the flow of air is weaker and meanders north and south", climatologist Judah Cohen of the firm Atmospheric and Environmental Research told CBS News.

'Broken man': Right wing rips Trump over no-wall shutdown deal
The Senate's new approach to ending the partial government shutdown actually takes votes instead of just pointing fingers. The Senate on Thursday will vote on two budget bills created to end the longest government shutdown in history.

Theresa May faces both ways in bid to save her Brexit plan
Could delay Article 50 or change the deal to include a customs union or second referendum. COULD IT SUCCEED? With enough votes from Tory rebels, yes.

Possible Trades for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol
The balance of the deal will become fully protected once he plays in 55 games (Conley has played in 46 games so far). But, like much of what's gone down in Memphis of late, there's not a ton of reasons to feel confident, either.

Known as the polar vortex, the abnormally cold weather system is a result of a change in wind patterns across northern polar regions.

Governors in Wisconsin and MI have also declared states of emergency ahead of the cold snap.

Cities in the Midwest opened warming shelters as temperatures plummeted below minus 17.8 degrees Celsius.

In Fargo, North Dakota, where the temperature dropped to minus 24F (minus 31C), Dan Hallock, an advertising executive, marveled that people were still working outside as he bought coffee. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency, Milwaukee Public Schools will remain closed Tuesday, along with schools in other districts across the state. Minneapolis Public Schools announced there would be no classes through Wednesday. Wind chills are near and below 0 degrees. Under the old formula, the chill was recorded at minus 82. They keep dropping Wednesday and even Thursday.

Chicago Zoological Society CEO Stuart Strahl said the closure will ensure the safety of employees and animals. It's only the fourth time the zoo has closed during its 85-year history.

Trucks drive amidst heavy snow near Fargo, North Dakota, January 29, 2019.

In Minnesota, numerous cities declared snow emergencies, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Around 1 p.m. ET, the National Weather Service office in Atlanta canceled its winter weather advisory for counties in northern Georgia but warned that patches of black ice could still pose a threat. Forecast suggest Wednesday's high temperatures in the Midwest might be some of the coldest on record for certain locations, and Thursday morning's low temperatures could also set new records.

Like this: