A 'sun dog' atmospheric phenomenon appears over a farm in
southern Minnesota. The halo around the sun is caused by
the refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals in the
atmosphere. REUTERS/Eric Miller
Bitter cold and high winds surging down from the Arctic
have pushed wind chills to dangerous lows across the US upper
Midwest, forcing officials to close schools and warn drivers
off roads, and slowing public transit and river traffic.
Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and other parts of the upper
Midwest are forecast to have two consecutive days of subzero
highs on Monday and Tuesday, while most of the Northeast will
see highs in the single digits and teens on Tuesday and
Wednesday, according to Accuweather.com.
National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Krein blamed
the weather on a surge of arctic high pressure out of Canada
that has spread over the upper Midwest and central plains.
Even weather-hardy Midwesterners expressed weariness on
Monday with the sub-zero cold snap, the second this month.
"I'm real sick of it," said Romik Stewart, 20, who was
waiting for a bus in Milwaukee to go to his job at a fast
food restaurant. "I've had enough of this already. It's too
Officials closed schools in Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati
and the Cleveland area and in most districts across Minnesota
on Monday due to the biting cold. Chicago and Milwaukee
public schools also will be closed Tuesday, as will the
Indianapolis city government.
The frigid temperatures also are causing ice to accumulate on
the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, slowing the movement of
grain barges to the US Gulf, according to Drew Lerner, a
meteorologist at World Weather Inc.
"I'm very ready for the spring," said 18-year-old Caroline
Burns, a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, as she
walked from her residence hall to class.
Nearly 900 flights have been canceled within, into and out of
the United States on Monday, according to FlightAware.com,
which tracks flights.
Even the south is seeing extremes this week.
Wind gusts of up to 35 mph (56 km) knocked down power lines
in the Dallas-Forth Worth area in Texas and temperatures were
expected to fall into the 20s overnight from highs in the 60s
and 70s over the weekend, the weather service said.
Galveston, Texas, public schools and most schools in New
Orleans will be closed on Tuesday due to winter weather,
according to officials and media reports.
Heavy snow was expected starting on Tuesday across eastern
North Carolina, while coastal South Carolina will get rare
ice accumulation with some snow and temperatures below
freezing on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National
In Alaska, the roughly 4,000 residents of Valdez remained cut
off to road traffic from the rest of the state Monday after
weekend avalanches blocked the road into and out of the
coastal town, officials said.