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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

‘Arctic blast’ brings dangerously low wind chill temperatures in large parts of US

These wind chills will pose a risk of frostbite on exposed skin and hypothermia, says Weather Service

ANASTASIA MARKS, Aimee Ortiz New York Published 15.01.24, 04:36 AM
Representative image of Arctic blast in US.

Representative image of Arctic blast in US. File picture

More than 95 million people in the United States were under a wind chill warning or advisory on Sunday as an “Arctic blast” enveloped huge parts of the country, while the South was expected to get snow and the Northeast blinding wind-driven squalls, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service reported wind chill readings on Sunday of 19 degrees below zero in Arkansas, 9 degrees below zero in Dallas and 60 degrees below zero in Montana. Low temperatures are expected to grip most of the country through the middle of the week.

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“These wind chills will pose a risk of frostbite on exposed skin and hypothermia,” the Weather Service said. “Have a cold survival kit if you must travel.”

High temperatures on Sunday and Monday will likely be 20 to 40 degrees below average from Montana to Texas.

Potential snow squalls — bursts of snow accompanied with strong winds — will spread east-northeastward Sunday across Pennsylvania into parts of southern New York and possibly into New York City.

A wind advisory posted on Sunday includes the Philadelphia metropolitan area and points east to the northern New Jersey coast. Winds gusting to 40 to 50 miles per hour can lead to whiteout conditions for 15 to 20 minutes. The powerful winds could damage trees and lead to power failures, the Weather Service said.

Lake-effect snow is also a threat this weekend in the Great Lakes region, with the potential for whiteouts in Michigan, Wisconsin and western and northern New York State.

Multiple winter storm warnings were in effect on Sunday morning around the Buffalo region, where up to two feet of snow was predicted to fall throughout the weekend. Governor Kathy Hochul of New York warned residents on Friday to take shelter ahead of this weekend’s storm and to prepare for power failures.

The NFL’s wild-card weekend game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, was postponed to 4.30pm on Monday from 1pm on Sunday.

Around New York and northeastern Pennsylvania, the Weather Service forecast snow and localised wind gusts of up to 80 km per hour. New York City could get an inch to two inches of snow on Monday night into Tuesday. Arkansas and Tennessee could receive up to six inches of snow.

Snow, sleet, rain and dangerous wind chills are expected to batter the West Coast, the Plains, parts of the Northeast and to extend into sections of the South.

Snow and freezing rain is expected from the West Coast to the Rocky Mountains. The heavy snow and ice have the makings for “poor to impossible” travel conditions in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.

New York Times News Service

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