Record cold and snow hits northern US
Bitter cold weather has hit the northern United States and is expected to stay into the New Year. Two Minnesota cities have set record low temperatures and the city of Erie in Pennsylvania has seen a record snowfall.
1.6 meters of snow
People in Erie, Pennsylvania have seen a record snowfall over the past few days. Residents are still shoveling snow after a storm brought 34 inches (86 cm) on Christmas Day, smashing the Christmas snowfall record for the Great Lakes city of 8 inches, and also the daily record of 20 inches. 26.5 more inches fell on Tuesday. More than 65 inches in total fell on the city in just a few days.
'Icebox of the Nation'
While Erie saw the record snowfall, two Minnesota cities experienced record-breaking cold temperatures. The National Weather Service reported International Falls, the self-proclaimed Icebox of the Nation, plunged to -37 degrees fahrenheit (-38.8 celsius), breaking the old record of 32 below set in 1924. Hibbing, Minnesota, bottomed out at 28 below, breaking the old record of 27 below set in 1964.
'Storm's timing was good'
Officials said the storm's timing was good, since people were off the streets and staying home for Christmas, giving plows more space to clear streets. One woman said she was going to build a snowman but didn't know where to start, and when she went outside to clear off the satellite dish she fell face-first into the snow because she couldn't figure out where the porch ended.
The chilly temperatures also hit New York as the The National Weather Service said wind chills could make temperatures feel below zero. Wind chill advisories or warnings have been put in effect for much of New England, northern Pennsylvania and New York.
Forecasters warn of hypothermia
The cold temperatures sweeping across northern US cities saw forecasters warn of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over central areas of the country and spreading east. Here, pedestrians are rugged up in beanies as steam rises from a manhole in Lower Manhattan, New York.
'Unprecedented' amount of snow
By Wednesday, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said Erie's roads were relatively clear, emergency calls were relatively slow and the big task was digging out. Here, a traffic engineering employee clears snow from traffic lights. "We're used to a lot of snow here in Erie, but this is unprecedented, the amount we got," Dahlkemper said.