Brutal cold returns to Midwest for extended stay

CHICAGO — An unusual weather pattern driving bitterly cold air from the Arctic Circle south across a huge swath of the Midwest is expected to send temperatures plummeting Monday from Minneapolis to Louisville, Ky., the latest punch from a winter that is in some areas shaping up as one of the coldest on record.

Temperatures will remain in the grips of the deep freeze for 21/2 days, said meteorologist Mike Hudson of the National Weather Service in Kansas City, Mo. It will be similar to what happened earlier this month when temperatures dropped quickly and stayed low for days when a piece of the polar vortex — winds that circulate around the North Pole — “broke off and moved south,” Hudson said.

In cities where temperatures reached the 40s, 50s and even higher Sunday, people will wake up Monday to temperatures ranging from the teens to well below zero. And with the wind chill, cities throughout the Midwest will feel far colder than the minus 4 that Hudson said was expected in Barrow, Alaska, the nation’s northernmost city.

The weather service said city after city will face wind chills well below zero Monday: minus 43 in Minneapolis, minus 23 in both Milwaukee and Chicago, minus 14 in Kansas City, minus 10 in St. Louis, and minus 3 in Louisville.

In the Chicago area, residents were bracing for a historic deep freeze. Monday’s high was expected to be minus 4 degrees and drop as low as 17 below zero downtown, with wind chills as low as 40 below zero.

Temperatures could remain below zero Tuesday as well and remain below zero for a total of 60 hours — the longest stretch since temperatures stayed below zero for a record 98 hours in 1983 and the third longest stretch in 80 years. It also would easily eclipse the 36 straight hours temperatures stayed below zero earlier this month, when the frigid weather prompted the city’s public schools to close for two days.

By noon Sunday, Chicago’s school district, which has approximately 400,000 students attending more than 650 schools, said it would be closed Monday. Districts in the Chicago suburbs also announced they’d be closed Monday.

In Michigan, snow on the roads and deep subfreezing temperatures contributed to multiple crashes Sunday that forced expressway closings. And on Saturday night, two people were killed in Grand Haven Township in western Michigan because of similar weather conditions, authorities said.

North Dakota and South Dakota residents dealt with dangerous cold Sunday and wind gusts that reached up to 60 mph. The high winds led to blowing snow that made it nearly impossible to travel in some areas of the two states.

“This is definitely the most widespread event we’ve had this year,” said Adam Jones, a weather service meteorologist in Grand Forks, N.D.

Snow and high winds in Indiana led officials there to restrict vehicle traffic or recommend only essential travel in more than half of the state’s counties.

In Iowa, snow was falling on Sunday and high winds were expected, prompting officials to warn that traveling would be dangerous. Forecasters there called for wind chills to be as low as 40 below zero on Monday.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Marysville police send abandoned, unclaimed bikes to Zambia

“Out where we are, a bicycle is upward mobility,” said Kelly Huckaby, a missionary in Africa.

Most Read