UPDATE: As Snow Moves Toward East Coast, Bitter Cold Hits Midwest

Nov 11, 2019

A woman walking the half mile from Chicago's Adler Planetarium to the Chicago Aquarium braces herself in the stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago.
Credit Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

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CHICAGO (AP) — Much of the snow that was supposed to fall in the Midwest has come down and now it's time for the main event: Record-breaking cold.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday and Wednesday may see record cold from the southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley to the Great Lakes and beyond, thanks to what it calls an "arctic airmass" that started in Siberia and has been spilling over a big chunk of the Midwest and East Coast.

There will still be plenty of snow into Tuesday in parts of the Northeast as the weather service reported the region may see up to a foot (30.5 centimeters) of snow, creating what it called "hazardous travel conditions." Meanwhile, temperatures were forecast below freezing as far south as the Texas Gulf Coast.

Records are expected to be broken in Chicago, as well. Weather service meteorologist Kevin Birk said the high for the Windy City is expected to reach 21 degrees (-6 Celsius), which is seven degrees lower than the previous record set for Nov. 12. Low temperatures in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa could drop into the single digits, according to Birk.

In Minnesota, Monday was the coldest high temperature in three decades in the Twin Cities at 18 degrees (-8 Celsius) and some Minnesota lakes were freezing earlier than normal.

"This is an air mass that's more typical for the middle of January than mid-November," said Birk. "It is pretty much about the coldest we can be this time of year (and) it could break records all over the region."

In some areas, the mercury fell quickly. Temperatures in Denver climbed past 70 degrees (21 Celsius) over the weekend only to fall to 14 degrees (-10 Celsius) early Monday.

As the weather made driving difficult in much of the Midwest, authorities said Monday's snowfall was to blame for four deaths.

The Eaton County Sheriff's Office in Michigan said two women, ages 81 and 64, and a 57-year-old man were killed in a two-vehicle crash caused by poor road conditions. And in Kansas, the Highway Patrol said an 8-year-old girl died in a three-vehicle wreck.

Officials in central Wyoming were searching for a 16-year-old autistic boy who went missing Sunday wearing only his pajamas.

In Chicago, a plane landing at O'Hare International Airport on Monday slid across the runway. No one was injured. More than 1,000 flights at O'Hare and Midway International Airport were canceled after more than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of snow fell.

Potentially hazardous conditions extended Tuesday to a large swath of the Northeast, and snowy and icy conditions slowed traffic in parts of Pennsylvania.

The National Weather Service reported, in all, that snowfall totals could reach up to a foot or more in some parts of Indiana, Michigan and Vermont. Areas west of the Rocky Mountains would be spared the arctic air, with above average temperatures expected in some of those places, according to the weather service.

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CHICAGO (AP) — An arctic air mass that brought snow and ice to an area stretching from the Rocky Mountains to northern New England on Monday was poised to give way to record-breaking cold temperatures.

In Chicago, where as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow fell, an Envoy Air flight from Greensboro, North Carolina, slid off an icy runway at O'Hare International Airport as it tried to land at about 7:45 a.m.

None of the 38 passengers and three crew members were injured, according to the city's aviation department. And in Kansas, the highway patrol reported that a truck driving on the highway lost control on an icy road and slammed head-on into another truck, killing a juvenile in the other vehicle.

Snowfall totals could reach up to a foot or more in some areas of Indiana, Michigan and Vermont, according to the National Weather Service. Other places in the path of the air mass saw ice and rain.

Denver saw just a few inches of snow but suffered numerous accidents on icy roadways because the snow fell during the morning commute.

More than 950 flights were canceled at Chicago's airports and officials in the area opened warming centers. In Michigan, some schools closed early, as did dozens of schools in the St. Louis area.

The snow and ice was just the first punch from a weather system that pushed frigid air from Siberia across an area stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast. Temperatures below freezing were forecast as far south as Texas' Gulf Coast.

"This is an air mass that's more typical for the middle of January than mid-November," said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk. "It is pretty much about the coldest we can be this time of year (and) it could break records all over the region."

According to Birk, the lows on Tuesday could drop into the single digits or low teens in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, with highs climbing no further than the low 20s. The forecast high of 21 degrees for Chicago would be a full seven degrees lower than the previous record set for Nov. 12.

In some areas, temperatures plunged quickly. Temperatures in Denver climbed past 70 degrees (21 Celsius) over the weekend only to fall to 14 degrees early Monday.

One area where the low temperatures was particularly concerning was in central Wyoming, where officials were searching for a 16-year-old autistic boy who went missing wearing only his pajamas on Sunday, prompting a search that included certified human trackers, helicopters, dogs, and planes.

The National Weather Service said areas west of the Rocky Mountains would be spared the arctic air, with above average temperatures expected in some of those places.

 

ORIGINAL POST:

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the winter storm in the Midwest (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

A storm that's brought snow to the Midwest is about to give way to record-setting cold.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk says that the arctic air mass will make the region feel a lot more like the middle of January than the middle of November. He says that by the time things warm up a bit on Wednesday, many communities could have new cold temperature records.

For example, Tuesday's expected high of 21 degrees (-6 Celsius) for Chicago is a full seven degrees lower than the previous record.

Birk says the lows in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa could drop into the single digits or low teens.

The cold weather is preceded by a storm that is expected to bring as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow in Illinois and up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

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10:20 a.m.

Snowfall in the Midwest is taking its toll on air travel in Chicago as one plane trying to land at O'Hare International Airport slid off the runway.

The city's aviation department says more than 440 flights in and out of the airport have been canceled.None of the 38 passengers and three crew members aboard an Envoy Air flight from Greensboro, North Carolina, were hurt when the plane slid off the runway at about 7:45 a.m. Monday.

Besides the flights canceled at O'Hare, snow and ice have forced airlines to cancel more than 90 flights at Chicago's Midway International Airport.

The National Weather Service expects as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow in Illinois and up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.