Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Days of Bitter Cold Ahead for Midwest, Northeast

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Days of Bitter Cold Ahead for Midwest, Northeast

Article excerpt

ERIE, Pa. * Freezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills socked much of the northern United States on Wednesday even setting a record in a Minnesota city so cold it's called the Icebox of the Nation and will linger for days to come as snow-hardened Erie digs out from a record snowfall.

Forecasters warned of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over the central U.S. and spreading east.

The National Weather Service reported International Falls and Hibbing, Minn., set record low temperatures on Wednesday morning. International Falls, the self-proclaimed Icebox of the Nation, plunged to 37 degrees below zero, breaking the old record of 32 below set in 1924. Hibbing bottomed out at 28 below, breaking the old record of 27 below set in 1964.

Wind chill advisories or warnings were in effect for much of New England, northern Pennsylvania and New York. Those places and states in the northern Plains and Great Lakes were projected to see highs in the teens or single digits and lows below zero for the rest of the week and into the new year.

The National Weather Service said wind chills in many areas Thursday could make temperatures feel below zero.

Meanwhile, Erie was recovering from a storm that brought 34 inches of snow on Christmas Day, smashing the previous daily snowfall record on that day for the Great Lakes city, and 26.5 more inches on Tuesday. More than 65 inches have fallen there since Christmas Eve, with several more inches falling Wednesday as residents dug out in frigid temperatures.

Strong westerly wind over Lake Erie picked up moisture, which developed into snow and converged with opposing wind, dumping snow in a band along the shore from Ohio to New York, said Zach Sefcovic, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Cleveland.

Sabrina Ram, 33, drove into Erie on Christmas Eve to visit her parents just as the snow began to fall. Ram, who lives in suburban Washington, and her father spent five hours on Christmas and two hours Tuesday clearing the driveway.

"In D.C., we'd be out of commission for weeks," Ram said. "Things here are pretty much back to normal now."

She said that she had planned to build a snowman but didn't know where to start "where do you put it? …

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