At least four deaths and more than 1,200 flight cancellations have been blamed on the Arctic blast that has wreaked havoc across the Midwest and Great Plains as forecasters reveal that 70 per cent of the United States will be hit with freezing temperatures this week.
A 57-year-old man and two women ages 64 and 81 were killed in a head-on collision in Kalamo Township, Michigan, Monday morning. Authorities said the poor road conditions were likely to blame in the two-vehicle crash. The victims have not been identified.
In Kansas, eight-year-old Cassie Ralston was killed in a three-vehicle crash caused by icy roads on Monday.
The Kansas Highway Patrol said the collision occurred 8am Monday on Highway 56 near Overbrooke in Osage County when a maroon Dodge Ram pickup truck driving westbound lost control, crossed the center line and hit a black Ford Edge head-on.
A third vehicle – a red Oldsmobile Alero – rear-ended the Ford and Cassie, who was a passenger, was killed.
Terry Ralston, 52, of Scranton, was identified as the driver of the Ford and was injured in the crash. Cassie was wearing a seat belt in the collision but was pronounced dead at a Topeka hospital at 9.15am.
Four deaths have been blamed on the Arctic blast that has wreaked havoc across the Midwest and Great Plains as the East Coast prepare for record-breaking drops in temperatures. In Missouri, rescuers responded to a car accident that showed a car dangling from a cliff after the driver lost control on the slippery road
Rescuers are seen reaching through the front windshield of the car to pull the driver out. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital
Four deaths have been blamed on the Arctic blast that has wreaked havoc across the Midwest and Great Plains as the East Coast prepare for record-breaking drops in temperatures. A man is seen using a leaf blower to remove snow from his car in Farmington Hills, Michigan, on Monday
The crashes came as a weather system carrying freezing temperatures and strong winds moved from the Rockies to the East Coast. A man is seen shoveling away snow in Madison, Wisconsin
The pickup driver, Kristin Edwards, 43, and her passenger, Luke Edwards, 14, both of Overbrook, were taken to Stormont Vail hospital but the extent of their injuries were unknown.
The Alero driver, 17-year-old Kaelyn Watkins of Overbrook, had no apparent injuries according to a crash log.
KHP reported five other crashes involving injuries on Monday, four of which involved multiple cars.
The crashes came as a weather system carrying freezing temperatures and strong winds moved from the Rockies to the East Coast. The quick-moving storm system is affecting about 70 per cent of the US which will experience freezing temperatures this week.
More than 70 schools in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York state have canceled classes due to the snow, according to Vermont Public Radio. Several Texas schools have also announced delays due to the road and weather conditions.
New Yorkers saw warmer weather Tuesday morning, but the temperatures are expected to plummet as the day goes on.
By Tuesday night, New York City and other areas like Philadelphia and DC will begin to see snow.
Forecasters said more than 240 million people are under winter warnings, watches and advisories. Much of the snow that was supposed to fall in the Midwest has come down and now it’s time for the record-breaking cold.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said Tuesday and Wednesday may see record cold from the southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley to the Great Lakes and beyond, thanks to what it calls an ‘arctic airmass’ that started in Siberia and has been spilling over a big chunk of the Midwest and East Coast.
There will still be plenty of snow into Tuesday in parts of the Northeast as the weather service reported the region may see up to a foot of snow, creating what it called ‘hazardous travel conditions’.
Meanwhile, temperatures were forecast below freezing as far south as the Texas Gulf Coast. Even residents of Brownsville, Texas, which sits on the US-Mexico border, were seeing snow Tuesday morning.
Brownsville has only had measurable snow there a couple times in the last 100 years, according to CNN meteorologist Barndon Miller.
Records are expected to be broken in Chicago, as well. Weather service meteorologist Kevin Birk said the high for the Windy City is expected to reach 21 degrees, which is seven degrees lower than the previous record set for November 12.
Low temperatures in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa could drop into the single digits, according to Birk.
Temperatures will be the coldest in several cities between Tuesday and Thursday (depicted above)
As of 8am Tuesday morning, Washington, DC, New York and other states were seeing rain while other states throughout the Midwest and Northeast received snow
Forecasts show that by Tuesday evening, temperatures will start to drop in the Northeast states where rain and snow mixtures are possible in New York City
Parts of New York state are expected to receive 6 to 12 inches of snow, according to this graphic
This graphic shows additional snowfalls through Tuesday night. Some areas ares expecting between 3 to 5 inches of snow
By Wednesday morning, temperatures will dip to record-breaking lows for some cities across the US
The quick-moving storm system is affecting about 70 per cent (depicted) of the US which will experience freezing temperatures this week
In Minnesota, Monday was the coldest high temperature in three decades in the Twin Cities at 18 degrees and some Minnesota lakes were freezing earlier than normal.
‘This is an air mass that’s more typical for the middle of January than mid-November,’ said Birk. ‘It is pretty much about the coldest we can be this time of year (and) it could break records all over the region.’
Elsewhere in the Midwest, a terrifying video showed the moment an American Airlines plane skidded off a snowy runway at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
None of the 38 passengers and three crew members aboard the Envoy Air flight from Greensboro, North Carolina, were hurt when the plane slid off the runway at about 7.45am Monday morning.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said up to 6 inches of snow fell in Illinois and up to 10 inches in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.
Snowfall totals could reach up to a foot or more in some areas of Indiana, Michigan and Vermont.
Other places in the path of the air mass saw ice and rain. Denver saw just a few inches of snow but suffered numerous accidents on icy roadways because the snow fell during the morning commute.
About 1,220 flights were canceled at Chicago’s airports and officials in the area opened warming centers. In Michigan, some schools closed early, as did dozens of schools in the St. Louis area.
This is the terrifying moment an American Airlines plane is seen sliding off the runway at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Monday morning
Great Plains – Kansas City
Day Description High/Low
Nov 12 Sunny 30/21
Nov 13 Cloudy 45/28
Nov 14 Cloudy 41/23
Midwest – Chicago:
Day Description High/Low
Nov 12 Sunny 20/11
Nov 13 Cloudy 30/25
Nov 14 Cloudy 35/22
Northeast – New York City:
Day Description High/Low
Nov 12 Rain/Snow 42/24
Nov 13 Sunny 34/28
Nov 14 Cloudy 44/34
South – Nashville
Day Description High/Low
Nov 12 Cloudy 31/18
Nov 13 Sunny 46/29
Nov 14 Cloudy 51/27
The snow and ice was just the first punch from a weather system that pushed frigid air from Siberia across the country. Temperatures below freezing were forecast as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast.
‘This is an air mass that’s more typical for the middle of January than mid-November,’ said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk. ‘It is pretty much about the coldest we can be this time of year (and) it could break records all over the region.’
Winter doesn’t officially start until December 22 this year.
Birk predicted that temperatures in Chicago could break a 79-year-old record by Monday night. It’s expected to fall to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, which would break the record low of 15 degrees that was set on November 11, 1950.
According to Birk, the lows on Tuesday could drop into the single digits or low teens in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, with highs climbing no further than the low 20s. The forecast high of 21 degrees (-6 Celsius) for Chicago would be a full seven degrees lower than the previous record set for November 12.
In some areas, temperatures plunged quickly. Temperatures in Denver climbed past 70 degrees (21 Celsius) over the weekend only to fall to 14 degrees (-10 Celsius) early Monday.
One area where the low temperatures was particularly concerning was in central Wyoming, where officials were searching for a 16-year-old autistic boy who went missing wearing only his pajamas on Sunday, prompting a search that included certified human trackers, helicopters, dogs, and planes.
The National Weather Service said areas west of the Rocky Mountains would be spared the arctic air, with above average temperatures expected in some of those places.
On Monday alone, more than 1,400 flights were canceled into and out of Chicago’s two airports, O’Hare (pictured) and Midway, according to FlightAware
The snow also caused some minor delays for Metra trains going in and out of Chicago. Commuters wait to board a Metra train in Naperville, Illinois, on Monday
A woman clears off a Divvy bike as she prepares for her Monday morning commute in Chicago
A resident plays with his dog as snow falls in Humboldt Park in Chicago on Monday
A worker shovels snow from a sidewalk n the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago. Up to six inches of snow fell in the city
Snow also fell Monday morning in Detroit, Kansas City and Milwaukee.
About 9.6 inches of snow was dumped on Detroit while Ann Arbor had 9.3 inches and Flint had 7.7 inches of snow.
Winter weather advisories were issued for the Plains, Midwest and the Northeast. This week’s Arctic blast is predicted to be so cold that forecasters expect it to break more than 300 records over the east of the Continental Divide.
The NWS predicted on Saturday that the daily record lows are ‘forecast to be broken, tied, or come within 1 degree’ of making history between Tuesday and Thursday.
On Tuesday 37 areas are expected to reach record low minimum temperatures, with Rochester in Minnesota set to be a cutting 0 degrees, threatening the -1 record of 1981.
Forecasters said Detroit is also expected to break a record for the coldest high temperature for November 12. The previous record was set in 1995 when the high reached 31, but on Tuesday the high is expected to be 24.
Detroit’s temperature on Wednesday may also break a 1911 record when the temperature was 12 degrees. Temperatures are expected to drop to 11 degrees in Detroit on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, nearly 100 record lows could be set from the South to the Northeast as freeze watches and warnings extend as far down as Florida.
Forecasters said even Tennessee will see a blanket of snow this week. Rain in Tennessee is expected to freeze before the snow hits parts of the state, including the Tennessee Valley.
The storm system began in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday.
The blast is coming from a jet stream pattern filtering out of Canada and into the states.