For many parts of the Midwest and Northeast, the extreme cold snap is bad -- it's so bad that even a winter resort had to close temporarily. It was too cold to ski.
Freezing, bitter temperatures have hugged parts of the nation, turning the usual winter chill into a fond memory. Beginning late Saturday, Arctic air swept down through Canada, pushing temperatures so low that a return to merely zero would seem like a tropical heat wave. The National Weather Service said states from Ohio through to the far northeast of Maine could expect to be slammed by that Arctic blast on Wednesday and even into the weekend.
How cold was it?
It was so cold that Embarrass, Minn., lived up to its name, reporting temperatures of minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Other parts of Minnesota reported temperatures within a few degrees.
But it is more than just the temperatures. Icy winds made the chill seem worse.
Wind-chill warnings fell like snowflakes throughout the Northeast, from Presque Isle and Caribou in Maine through Vermont and even into New York City, where icy blasts were expected to make it feel well below zero, although forecasters thought temperatures might actually climb into single digits.
It was so cold that Wildcat Mountain in New Hampshire announced it would close Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures in the negative double digits are expected, but icy winds will create a chill effect of minus 48 degrees Fahrenheit.
“For the next two days, Wednesday, Jan. 23, and Thursday, Jan. 24, the forecast for Wildcat Mountain is calling for bitter cold temperatures and wind chill warnings that will create unsafe conditions for our guests and employees. Because of this, Wildcat Mountain will be closed Wednesday and Thursday and plans to reopen Friday,” the resort said in a posting on its website.
At least four deaths from exposure and hypothermia have been blamed on the cold weather.
Two people died in Wisconsin, one in Illinois and one in Minnesota, according to wire service reports.