des moines cold

Millions Shiver as Arctic Blast Sends Temperatures Plummeting to -45°F in Parts of US

An arctic air mass, described by meteorologists as “once-in-a-decade,” has gripped the United States in a bone-chilling embrace, sending temperatures plummeting to record lows and leaving millions bundled up indoors. From the windswept plains of Montana to the snow-dusted streets of Boston, the nation is experiencing a deep freeze unlike anything seen in recent years.

Record-Breaking Cold:
• International Falls, Minnesota: Notoriously known as the “Icebox of the Nation,” International Falls shattered its all-time temperature record, dipping to a staggering -45°F on Friday night. The previous record, set in 1996, stood at -41°F.
• Great Lakes Region: Cities around the Great Lakes are experiencing dangerously low wind chills, with Chicago facing -50°F and Detroit bracing for -45°F. The National Weather Service is urging residents to avoid venturing outdoors if possible.
• Northeast Corridor: Even the usually temperate Northeast is not spared, with New York City expecting wind chills down to -20°F and Boston shivering at -15°F. Schools and businesses have closed across the region due to the hazardous conditions.

Widespread Impacts:
• Power Outages: The extreme cold has strained power grids across the country, leading to widespread blackouts. Over a million homes are currently without electricity, affecting states from Montana to Maine.
• Travel Disruptions: The frigid temperatures have crippled air travel, with thousands of flights grounded due to icing and blizzard conditions. Major highways are also treacherous, with numerous accidents reported.
• Health Concerns: Hypothermia and frostbite are major concerns during such extreme cold snaps. The CDC advises residents to dress in layers, cover exposed skin, and avoid strenuous activity outdoors.

While the worst of the cold is expected to ease by mid-week, temperatures will remain below average for the next few days. Residents are advised to stay informed about weather updates and follow local advisories.
Beyond the Headlines:
The extreme cold weather event is highlighting the vulnerabilities of our infrastructure and the need for better preparedness for such climate extremes. This episode also serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of climate change, which is expected to make weather events more unpredictable and severe.

Additional Details:
• This is the coldest air mass to hit the US in a decade, surpassing the previous record set in 2014.
• The cold snap is attributed to a phenomenon known as a polar vortex, which is a large area of low pressure and swirling winds in the upper atmosphere.
• Climate experts warn that such extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and intense due to global warming.

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