Heavy snow to push across Upper Midwest, bitter cold follows

Arturo Kim
January 30, 2019

A reinforcing front will bring some light fluffy snow or flurries Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, followed by a bitterly cold and breezy day on Wednesday. Extremely unsafe cold is expected from Tuesday night through Thursday for the Midwest and Great Lakes.

While low temperatures on their own don't necessarily complicate travel plans, the combination of freezing cold, snow, and interruptions related to the ongoing government shutdown could make next week a bad time to catch a flight or drive cross-country.

A preview of the expected storm hit on Friday morning, prompting multiple school closures in the Midwest and temperatures of -27 degrees Celsius in Duluth, Minnesota and -20 degrees Celsius in Chicago, Illinois, the largest city in the Midwest. Besides the now, there's also a Polar Vortex that will bring our area some extremely cold temperatures.

Chicago, North Dakota, Minnesota, New York, Philadelphia, and more major cities are told to anticipate the huge temperature drop. The Lima region will be under a wind chill advisory until 1 p.m. today. "Brutal cold is coming", the NWS' Chicago office said on Twitter. The homeless should be encouraged to stay in shelters.

"That's 40 degrees below normal", Hurley said.

He sees the Lima region's high temperatures on Wednesday being minus 7 degrees with a low being minus 22.

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People should "ensure the vehicle, home and your family are ready", NWS Chicago warned. The largest public school districts in both states are among those closed, including districts in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In Chicago, O'Hare International Airport had about 790 canceled flights Monday morning and about 220 canceled flights were reported at Midway International Airport.

The heaviest amounts of snow will fall in southern Wisconsin, upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and northern ME, according to models.

Even the fabled "frozen tundra" of Lambeau Field, home to the NFL's Green Bay Packers, wasn't able to withstand the heavy snow and blustery winds that closed hundreds of businesses, schools and government offices in Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, courthouses and most offices are closed in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Columbia and Washington counties. The cold also prompted officials to close some schools in eastern Iowa, while Chicago Public Schools officials said they were monitoring the weather ahead of Wednesday's cold snap.

In eastern North Dakota, officials have issued travel alerts because of blowing snow.

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