University of Iowa student found dead amid cold

University of Iowa student found dead amid cold

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said on Tuesday he has issued a disaster proclamation for the entire state. Nonessential employees would stay home.

Tens of millions of people in the northern United States woke up to freezing temperatures on Wednesday as flights were grounded, travel disrupted and schools and business closed.

But some of the lowest temperatures in a generation could still arrive in parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley on Thursday, forecasters warned.

"The National Weather Service continues to predict dangerously cold sub-zero temperatures and the priority must continue to be on keeping people safe", Whitmer said in a statement.

Chicago recorded a low temperature of about minus 23 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 30 Celsius) - not a record, but close to it. Minneapolis recorded minus 27 F (minus 32 C).

The culprit? A swirl of arctic air that broke away from the polar vortex that usually encircles the North Pole.

Local television pictures showed the Chicago River and Lake Michigan filled with chunks of ice.

MI and Wisconsin declared statewide emergencies in advance of the frigid temperatures.

Temperatures have plunged to -30C (-22F) and below in parts of North America as extreme cold weather known as a polar vortex strikes the region.

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Jim Hayes, a National Weather Service meteorologist, warned that frostbite was possible within 10 minutes in the intense cold.

Lawrence Gottlieb of the University of Chicago Medical Centre said the threat was significant "when temps fall below zero, especially when there is a strong wind".

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Chicago was -27C on January 20, 1985. "They are life-threatening conditions and temperatures".

Some Chicago residents found warmth inside the Harold Washington Library Center, which planned to stay open on Wednesday. Conditions are particularly favorable for state records to fall this week, with clear skies and fresh snow on the ground. It maintains its liquid state in subzero temperatures, like those now hitting parts of the US, so when a gas tank is full, those fuel lines are better equipped to handle to the cold.

Hundreds of flights, more than half of those scheduled, were canceled on Wednesday out of Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway global airports, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.

The frigid cold blanketing much of the US's northern neighbor, from Manitoba in the western Prairies region to Atlantic Canada, prompted a rare "hazardous" cold warning from Environment Canada.

Environment Canada reported record-breaking snowfall at the Ottawa airport, where some 50 flights were cancelled, with an accumulation of almost a metre (more than three feet). It was considering whether to cancel additional shifts.

A blast of arctic-chilled air from the polar vortex brought unsafe, record-setting cold to a wide swath of the eastern United States on Tuesday, stretching from the Dakotas through ME, with snow expected as far south as Alabama and Georgia.

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