This is how the roadways looked more than 24 hours ago. Things are much worse now. The original caption read: Drivers take it slow on the snow-slippery Highway 61 just outside Duluth, Minn. The National Weather Service says more than a foot of snow has accumulated in Duluth and Two Harbors. Photo by Bob King, Duluth News Tribune, via AP.
Arctic blast causes temperatures to plummet in West, Midwest
By Matt Volz, Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. — A wintry storm pushing through the western half of the country is bringing bitterly cold temperatures that prompted safety warnings for residents in the Rockies and threatened crops as far south as California.
The jet stream is much farther south than normal, allowing the cold air to push in from the Arctic and drop temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees below normal levels, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said Tuesday.
Areas of Montana and the Dakotas were forecast to reach lows in the minus-20s, while parts of California could see the thermometer drop to the 20s. The icy arctic blast was expected to be followed by another one later in the week, creating an extended period of cold weather that hasn't been seen since the late 1990s, meteorologists said.
Officials warned residents to protect themselves against frostbite if they are going to be outside for any length of time.