U.S. Midwest braces for record-breaking cold blast

U.S. Midwest braces for record-breaking cold blast

While low temperatures on their own don't necessarily complicate travel plans, the combination of freezing cold, snow, and interruptions related to the ongoing government shutdown could make next week a bad time to catch a flight or drive cross-country.

A winter storm brought several inches of snow to northern IL as the region braces for record-low subzero temperatures. Widespread wind chills are now predicted on American modeling forecasts to be in deep negatives: For example, in Northern Ohio there could be a -40 degree wind chill; In Kentucky, -3 to -12; In North Dakota. A reinforcing front will bring some light fluffy snow or flurries Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, followed by a bitterly cold and breezy day on Wednesday.

Then the mercury will take a nose dive for the next few days.

Surges of cold polar air are blasting the Midwest with the lowest temperatures in years, set to last until the end of the week. On Monday, wind chills will dip to minus 20, while it'll feel like minus 30 or minus 40 from Des Moines, Iowa, to Fargo, North Dakota, on Tuesday.

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A deep freeze is forecast to hit the U.S. Midwest this week, with snow, brutally cold temperatures and potentially life-threatening wind chill across northern IL and northwest IN by midweek, the National Weather Service said. The Minnesota State Patrol was responding to scores of spin outs and crashes early Monday in the Twin Cities metro area, even before the busiest commute time, because of snow-covered and icy roads. By next week, subzero cold lows may extend through much of the Ohio Valley into the interior Northeast. The high temperature forecast at O'Hare on Wednesday is negative 14 degrees (negative 25 degrees Celsius), which would break a record set on January 18, 1994. Strong winds with gusts past 50 miles per hour are possible between eastern Montana to Nebraska and Kansas from Sunday through Monday, Accuweather reported.

"Wind chills this low can produce frost on exposed skin within 10 minutes", the agency said.

Heavy snowfall rates of more than 2 inches per hour occurred in MI and upstate NY.

According to Accuweather, areas along the I-80 and I-94 corridors are expecting snow and slippery conditions beginning on Sunday and continuing through early next week.

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