Winter winds brought extreme cold and ice-slicked roads to the Midwestern and Eastern United States on Jan. 21, with Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and an ongoing government shutdown allowing many to heed official advice to stay indoors.
The arctic blast of frigid air has followed a January storm that dumped more than a foot of snow and sleet across the Northeast, which started melting on Jan. 20.
Temperatures fell to single-digits Fahrenheit from New York City to Boston and through northern New England and froze melting snow late on Sunday and early on Monday, said Marc Chenard at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Winds up to 30 to 40 miles per hour added possibly deadly wind chill.
The National Weather Service's winter storm watch is in effect for Niagara County and other parts of Western New York. It lasts through Monday. Gov. Cuomo has activated 300 members of the National Guard and opened state Emergency Operations Centers.https://t.co/bg0IcNNj7f pic.twitter.com/IuvlelB9N9
— Niagara Gazette (@NiagaraGazette) January 19, 2019
“This is definitely dangerous, life-and-death kind of weather happening,” Chenard said. “Minnesota and Wisconsin will see temperatures in the negative 20s.”
“Boston will be just 3 degrees (Fahrenheit) this morning, with wind chills of minus 12 or more,” he said. “New York City and D.C. will be in that same range, maybe hitting the teens later today. It’ll be record or near-record cold.”
Cold temperatures does not mean safe ice. Follow these safety tips if on hard water this winter. Don't Roll the Dice When on the Ice! pic.twitter.com/4pVLLQWwnz
— NWS Northern Indiana (@NWSIWX) January 21, 2019
The NWS issued wind-chill advisories and warnings for more than 10 states, from North Dakota and to East Coast metropolitan centers.
High temperatures for Monday are forecast at 17 Fahrenheit for New York City and 12 F for Boston.
More than 6,000 flights were delayed, mostly in New York and New England, according to FlightAware.com, down from more than 14,000 on Sunday. More than 500 flights were canceled early Monday compared with more than 2,000 Sunday, the website reported.
Tuesday’s weather will be only slightly warmer, Chenard said, with temperatures reaching the low 20s Fahrenheit in the Northeast. By Wednesday, some areas such as Boston will be in the high 30s or low 40s. Washington D.C. temperatures might reach 50 degrees, he said.
But the relatively warmer temperatures won’t last. Another arctic blast is on its way in time for next weekend.
By Rich McKay