Cold weather hits Midwest, East; several schools cancel classes

Cold weather hits Midwest, East; several schools cancel classes
Christine Dietz bikes across Seventh Street in south Bismarck, N.D., one of many states hit by frigid temperatures this week. (Tom Stromme / Associated Press)

A cold snap, complete with negative and single-degree temperatures in parts of Maine and the Midwest, continues to grip most of the nation and is expected to continue through early next week, forecasters said.

Several school districts have canceled Wednesday classes because of the weather, including those in Chicago, Minneapolis and Omaha.


In Caribou, Maine, a city close to the northern tip of the state, Tuesday's high was minus 4 degrees. The low was minus 6.

In the northern North Dakota town of Devil's Lake, the low was 22 below zero, making the day's high — minus 3 — seem almost balmy.

Wind chill advisories are in effect mostly for the Midwest and northern Maine.

The temperatures are part of a "pretty typical weather pattern," said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service.

"The air mass is cold by any standards, but it's not atypical," he said. "It's something that can occur during the wintertime."

The temperatures are the result of a cold air mass coming south from Canada, Oravec said.

A ski resort and family center with outdoor recreation activities in the Duluth, Minn., area closed Sunday because of below zero temperatures.

The Rocky Mountains are forming a barrier separating the frigid East from a warmer West, Oravec said.

But that doesn't leave Washington state out of the winter weather woes.

Heavy weekend rains led to mudslides on Monday, some of which pushed houses from their foundations, and flooding in much of Western Washington. More than 5 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour time span.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for several Washington counties through Tuesday night.

Times staff writer Lauren Raab contributed to this report.

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