- The US is the grip of an unusually early cold snap, which has killed at least six people.
- The frigid weather spans the Midwest, east coast, and south of the US, where the National Weather Service said it already feels “like the middle of winter.”
- It said that “more than a hundred locations [are] expected to tie or set new low temperature records.”
- At least six people have been killed, all from road collisions related to the cold temperatures. One victim, in Kansas, was an eight-year-old girl.
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The Midwest, East Coast and South of the US is facing a frigid, early cold snap that has killed at least six people and could break more than 100 temperature records.
The National Weather Service warned Wednesday morning that “an early blast of cold arctic air will consume much of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. over the next few days, making it feel like the middle of winter.”
It said that “more than a hundred locations expected to tie or set new low temperature records.”
It also said that temperatures will “average 20 to 30 degrees [Fahrenheit] below normal.”
The weather system that plummeted temperatures in central and eastern states, resulting in the cancellation of thousands of flights on Monday and Tuesday, will move into southern states and move towards New England on Thursday, the NWS said.
Thursday is likely to be the last morning of record-breaking temperatures, it said.
The cold has stretched from Kansas to Minnesota to Kentucky to New York, with daily temperatures records broken in Kansas and Illinois.
The Star Tribune reported that areas of Minnesota recorded the coldest temperatures seen since 1986. The high in Hibbing, northeastern Minnesota, was nine degrees Fahrenheit (-12.78 degrees Celsius).
At least five deaths related to the cold had been recorded by Tuesday night, CBS News reported.
These victims, all killed on icy roads, are:
- An eight-year-old girl killed in a collision in Kansas.
- A woman killed in a 16-car crash in Ohio.
- A semi-trailer driver killed in Ohio in a separate crash.
- Three people in Michigan killed in a two-vehicle crash.
The National Weather Service also said that “Snows over the Great Lakes are expected to become more widespread later today into Thursday.” The cold means the Great Lakes have started to freeze earlier in the year than normal, CBS Minnesota reported.
The temperatures have also sparked new concern for the regions’ homeless. In Chicago, where 86,000 homeless people live, new shelters were opened in response, Reuters reported.
Doug Schenkelberg, director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, said that “It’s incredibly concerning that we are experiencing this level of cold this early in the season.”