INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dangerously cold temperatures blamed for at least nine deaths have wreaked havoc across a wide swath of the U.S., freezing a water tower in Iowa, halting ferry service in New York and leading officials to open warming centers even in the Deep South.
The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories and freeze warnings Tuesday covering a vast area from South Texas to Canada and from Montana through New England.
Indianapolis early Tuesday tied a record low of minus 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-24 Celsius) for Jan. 2 set in 1887, leading Indianapolis Public Schools to cancel classes. And the northwest Indiana city of Lafayette got down to minus 19 (-28 Celsius), shattering the previous record of minus 5 (-21 Celsius) for the date, set in 1979, the National Weather Service said. After residents there began complaining of a hum, Duke Energy said it was caused by extra power surging through utility lines to meet electricity demands.
“The temperatures are certainly extreme, but we’ve seen colder,” said Joseph Nield, a meteorologist in Indianapolis, noting that the all-time low temperature in Indiana was minus 36 (-38 Celsius) in 1994.
Nevertheless, the cold is nothing to trifle with, forecasters warned.
Arctic cold air will keep the eastern half of the nation shivering through the first week of January.
A reinforcing shot of bitter, Canadian air is expected to arrive late this week.
Dozens of daily record lows have been set, and more are likely into late this week.
Wind chills in the 50s below zero have been observed in North Dakota and northern Minnesota.
A reinforcing shot of bitter, Arctic air will soon prolong the long-lived cold outbreak across the Plains, Midwest, South and East into the end of this week, likely shattering more daily records and sending wind chills to dangerously cold levels.
The first batch of Arctic air to arrive in the Lower 48 is currently gripping parts of the Midwest, South and East. This will be followed by another reinforcing shot of bitterly cold air during the latter half of the week ahead.
Current Wind Chills
Wind chills 50 to 60 degrees below zero have been recorded in the Dakotas and northern Minnesota Saturday-Monday. The coldest wind chill observed was 58 degrees below zero in Hettinger, North Dakota, on Sunday morning.
The coldest temperature in this Arctic outbreak so far is a reading of 45 degrees below zero in Embarrass, Minnesota, on Sunday morning.
Ice has formed as far south as the central Plains due to the Arctic invasion:
— kimnsexton (@kimnsexton1) January 2, 2018
Reach into Florida…
(Reuters) – Record-shattering arctic cold reached as far south as Florida on Monday with freeze warnings in place from Texas to the Atlantic Coast and the Northeastern United States facing another cold wave at the end of the week, forecasters said.
LIVE CHILL MAP…