If you live in the Midwest, you surely already know that dangerously cold weather is heading your way. Some parts of the region are experiencing heavy snowfall and powerful winds, and the worst is yet to come.
Here’s what has already happened.
Officials have already canceled nearly 1,600 flights so far, most at Chicago’s airports. Hundreds of schools have been closed. In Michigan, non-essential government offices, including the Capitol, are closed.
Winter Storm Jayden has already pummeled parts of the Plains and Midwest with snow and wind and is now heading for parts of the South and the East.
In Wisconsin and Minnesota, snowplow drivers are having trouble keeping up. Those states are expecting up to 14 inches of snow in some areas.
Snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour were measured early this morning in Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and Traverse City, Michigan, according to The Weather Channel.
In the Northeast, winter storm watches have been issued from Monday night into Wednesday morning for parts of western, central and upstate New York, northeast Pennsylvania, and western and northern New England.
Even folks in the South aren’t escaping this winter storm. Warnings have been issued for parts of Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, south-central Tennessee, and western North Carolina. Winter weather advisories stretch from northern Louisiana to western Virginia and West Virginia.
But even more extremely cold “arctic” weather is yet to come.
The most dangerous weather is yet to come: “frigidly low temperatures that the region hasn’t seen in a quarter century,” reports the Associated Press:
Wednesday is expected to be the worst. Wind chills in northern Illinois could fall to negative 55 degrees (negative 48 degrees Celsius), which the National Weather Service called “possibly life threatening.” Minnesota temperatures could hit minus 30 degrees (negative 34 degrees Celsius) with a wind chill of negative 60 (negative 51 degrees Celsius). (source)
Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center, told the AP that temperatures will plummet over the next three days:
“That’s quite dangerous. You’re talking about frostbite and hypothermia issues very quickly, like in a matter of minutes, maybe seconds.” (source)
Here’s more, from USA Today:
Weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said a “blend of models” shows that 55 million people in 24 percent of the continental U.S. land could be at zero degrees or lower Wednesday morning. In Chicago, wind chills as low as 55 below zero are “likely” midweek, the weather service said. Some areas in the northern Plains could see wind chills of 64 degrees below zero. (source)
Take a look at this map:
Here’s what you need to know to get prepped.
Are you ready to get stuck inside for a few days? Do you have enough water and food for your family? Do you have a way to stay warm if the power goes out? Now is the time to get prepared. Below, you’ll find a list of articles with everything you need to know. The best advice is to stay off the roads and stay inside if at all possible.
- This list can help: Winter Storm Warning: Are You Ready to Get Snowed In?
- A winter power outage can quickly become a life-threatening emergency. Here’s how to stay warm during an outage: Staying Warm During a Winter Power Outage
- If your power goes out and you are unable to cook, what will you eat? Here are some ideas: What to Eat When the Power Goes Out
- What should you get if the supplies at the store are already picked bare? Here’s what to buy if you waited until the last minute to stock up. I wrote this during the days leading up to a hurricane but the advice is good for any type of disaster that clears the shelves.
- Here are some additional ways to stay warm during very cold weather: 20 Low-Tech Ways to Stay Warm with Less Heat
- If you get stranded in your vehicle, will you have what you need to survive? This checklist will help you find out, and see what you are missing: Winter is Coming: Here’s Your Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist
- Hypothermia and frostbite are serious threats and can happen in mere minutes during weather this cold. Here’s what you need to know about cold weather injuries.
- Read more about surviving in extreme cold here.
Be sure to check on any elderly or vulnerable neighbors during this time, particularly if the power goes out.
Stay warm and safe!
Are you going to get extremely cold “arctic” weather?
Are you expecting colder than usual weather this week? What are you doing to prepare for it? Share your thoughts and preps in the comments section below.