Record Cold Expected To Freeze Much Of USA
People in much of the United States are dealing with the coldest weather in the last 20 years.
The National Weather Service is calling the air mass sweeping across the country “dangerously cold,” and has posted wind chill warnings for Monday that stretch from North Dakota to New York in the north and as far south as Alabama.
Carl Erickson, a forecaster with AccuWeather, told VOA that wind chills in major East Coast cities could reach 20 to 30 degrees Celsius below zero. In places like Montana and North Dakota, temperatures including wind chill could hit negative 50 degrees Celsius.
“The good news is, although this is a very intense cold air mass system that we haven’t seen in decades, it will not be long-lived. Even as we go into Wednesday the winds will begin to lessen, the cold air eases, and although no big warm-ups it will definitely feel a little bit better Wednesday compared to the next couple of days. Going into Thursday and Friday, looks like temperatures actually rebounding to near average levels, probably in that 5-to-10 degree above zero range in the big cities by Thursday and Friday,” said Erickson.
The cold, fresh snow, more than 30 centimeters of it in some places in the Midwest, has created dangerous travel conditions, forcing schools to close and airlines to cancel thousands of flights.
Forecasters say the widespread chill is the result of a relatively infrequent alignment of weather conditions, allowing a so-called polar vortex to travel unusually far to the south from its normal place in northern Canada.