Student, animals found dead amid extreme cold in the US

Student, animals found dead amid extreme cold in the US

This outbreak may break some daily records for cold and is likely to be even more brutal than five years ago, especially with added wind chill, said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private weather firm Weather Underground. By nightfall the mercury was hovering at 0F in Chicago, 7F (minus 14C) in Detroit and minus 21f (minus 29C) in Minneapolis.

In Chicago, blocks of ice floated on the downtown river of America´s third-largest city and flames from gas burners heated regional commuter rail lines to keep them functioning.

The bitter cold is being carried by the polar vortex, a stream of air that spins around the stratosphere over the North Pole, but whose current has been disrupted and is now pushing south.

"If you don't have to be outside, don't", meteorologist Amy Seeley warned Chicago residents.

Heavy snow was forecast in the northern stretches of ME and snow squalls were predicted for other parts of the east coast of the country.

Blizzard conditions were predicted across parts of the western Ohio Valley and snow was expected through Wednesday from the Great Lakes region into New England.

Gilbert Rothschild, 79, walked through a corridor wearing three sweaters and an undershirt underneath his parka.

When the forces penning the polar vortex in the Arctic are weak, it wanders, more often to Siberia than MI, and it is happening more frequently in the last couple of decades, said Oklahoma meteorology professor Jason Furtado.

The split higher up in the atmosphere could eventually cause a similar phenomenon to "drip" down to the troposphere - the layer of the atmosphere closest to the surface, where most of our weather takes place.

A low of minus 10F (minus 23C) was forecast in Chicago and elsewhere in northern IL on Wednesday.

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The National Weather Service is going with minus-24 at sunrise Thursday, which would fall short.

The freezing temperatures may have killed a Rochester, Minnesota, man who was found dead outside his home on Sunday, according to a report by WCCO, a local CBS affiliate.

Officials in a number of states have opened shelters as police search for people most at risk from cold conditions.

"These are VERY DANGEROUS conditions and can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as five minutes where wind chill values are below -50 (-45C)", the National Weather Service tweeted.

For many across the region, life ground to a halt.

Chicago: The body of a University of Iowa student has been found on the campus in Iowa City, with officials believing his death was weather-related.

At the same time, La Crosse, Wisconsin, had temperatures of minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) at 5.20 a.m. on Wednesday, said the National Weather Service.

With officials in IL and the Northern states advising residents to stay indoors, dashcam footage from one trucker taken outside Grand Rapids, Michigan gave a snapshot of hair-raising driving conditions.

Residents in Grand Forks, North Dakota awoke to a bone-chilling -35 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was -27 degrees in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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