CALIFORNIA
Sign up for the Essential California newsletter to get great stories delivered to your inbox
Nation Nation Now

'Polar vortex' could send wind chill to 65 below zero in Midwest

Parts of the U.S. may see days of record-low temperatures beginning Sunday as forecasters expect a deep freeze to bring wind chill as low as 65 below zero in parts of the Midwest. Temperatures will hover around zero throughout the East Coast region early next week.

"It's going to be very cold and the wind chills are going to be very low," said Bob Oravec, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. "It hasn't been this cold in several decades for the big East Coast cities."

Parts of the Upper Midwest -- such as Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Montana -- will get hit hardest, he said. Many of these areas have wind chill advisories.

PHOTOS: Snow storm pounds East Coast

Because of the cold, for the first time in 17 years, Minnesota is closing all its schools on Monday.

"I have made this decision to protect all our children from the dangerously cold temperatures now forecast for next Monday," said Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement. "I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions."

In neighboring Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison schools also announced on their websites that they would be closed because of the frigid weather.

But the Green Bay Packers NFL wild-card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday was to go on as planned. In a release on the Packers website, the team said it is pairing up with Delaware North Companies Sportservice to help fans battle the cold by offering free cocoa and coffee.

Even the term forecasters use to describe the potential cause of this weather pattern -- "polar vortex," a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold, dense air -- sounds chilling.

"It's a semi-permanent circulation that's typically at higher latitudes across the world, like at the North Pole," Oravec told the The Times. "But at the moment, the polar vortex is being pushed farther south into the U.S., transporting very cold air."

East Coast states, reeling this week from heavy snow, are not expected to feel the frigid temperatures until Tuesday.

"Temperatures will be fairly warm on the Eastern seaboard on Monday morning," Oravec said. "It will start off in the lower 40s in big cities such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston ... but will drop rapidly during the day."

By Tuesday morning, temperatures will fall to near zero, Oravec said.

State and local officials in some areas took to social media to urge people to alert authorities if they see homeless people.

The Boston Public Health Commission posted a page on its website outlining "homeless resources for extreme cold weather conditions."

Vincent C. Gray, the mayor of Washington, D.C., said on his Twitter account that people should call 311 or the district's hypothermia helpline if they see homeless people out in the cold.

Slightly better weather is on the horizon.

"At least temporarily, by the middle to latter part of the coming week, temperatures will be milder than they have been," Oravec said.

ALSO:

More deaths in Northeast as snow gives way to bitter cold

Cronut-crazed New Yorkers brave frigid temperatures for pastry

Allow gay marriages to continue, Utah couples tell Supreme Court

 

saba.hamedy@latimes.com

Twitter: @saba_h

 

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Midwest deep freeze
    Midwest deep freeze

    Mike Ashley walks his 6-year-old collie-lab mix, Riley, in Muskegon, Mich. A deep freeze is expected to arrive over the Midwest Sunday with potential record-low temperatures, heightening fears of frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Winter storm wreaks havoc across northern parts of nation
    Winter storm wreaks havoc across northern parts of nation

    NEW YORK — Some holiday travelers got an extra day of vacation Thursday — albeit waiting in an airport — as a giant winter storm barreled through the Midwest, heading for the Northeast.

  • More deaths in Northeast as snow gives way to bitter cold
    More deaths in Northeast as snow gives way to bitter cold

    NEW YORK -- A ferocious snowstorm that buried some areas of the Northeast in nearly two feet of snow tapered off Friday, leaving death in its wake and giving way to a bitter chill compounded by winds that sent temperatures plunging well below zero.

  • Winter storm pounds East Coast
    Winter storm pounds East Coast

    A blustering winter storm menaced the Northeast on Friday with howling winds and frigid temperatures. The storm dropped nearly 2 feet of snow just north of Boston, shut down major highways in New York and Pennsylvania and forced U.S. airlines to cancel thousands of flights nationwide.

  • Ex-troops with highest suicide risk often don't qualify for mental care
    Ex-troops with highest suicide risk often don't qualify for mental care

    The largest study to date of recent military and veteran suicides has identified two high-risk groups of former troops who are generally ineligible for the psychiatric care afforded to all others who served: those forced out of the military for misconduct and those who enlisted but were quickly...

  • Sen. Robert Menendez, indicted on federal charges, still popular in hometown
    Sen. Robert Menendez, indicted on federal charges, still popular in hometown

    Salsa music serenaded the shoppers on Union City's main drag, where a bargain furniture store boasted low prices, garantizado, and a restaurant advertised a job with a sign reading, "Se necesita bartender."

  • Menendez vows to fight bribery, conspiracy charges
    Menendez vows to fight bribery, conspiracy charges

    Sen. Robert Menendez, a powerful force on Capitol Hill and ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged Wednesday with receiving nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend and benefactor in exchange for using his Senate office to help...

  • In rural Indiana, battling HIV, drugs and bleak times
    In rural Indiana, battling HIV, drugs and bleak times

    Donald Spicer slowed his police car to a crawl as he pointed out “shooting galleries” — paint-chipped houses with broken windows and rotting wood, where addicts inject liquid painkillers and lose all sense of time.

Comments
Loading