Winter has taken the northern United States by storm this weekend – quite literally – with ‘life threatening cold’ hitting the North Dakota area and snow and ice complicating holiday travel in the Midwest and Northeast. The arctic air that has chilled large swaths of the northern United States for days will culminate this weekend with dangerous cold in Montana and North Dakota as heavy snow falls in other parts of the country, officials said. People in North Dakota face ‘life threatening cold’ and the risk of frostbite with exposure of 10 minutes or less, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in an advisory.
In Montana, dangerous wind chills are expected to last through Saturday afternoon and people should guard against hypothermia, the NWS said.
Temperatures in parts of Montana could plummet to record lows for this day of around minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius), meteorologist Kenneth James of the Weather Prediction Center said in a phone interview.
The bitter cold comes from a blast of arctic air – the second one this week – blowing south from Canada across the US border into the northern plain states and the Midwest, NWS officials said.
It has joined forces with a storm that swept in from the Pacific Ocean, bringing snowfall to large sections of the northern United States as it chugs across the country to the East Coast, they said.
Areas of Wisconsin, Indiana, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine will see the heaviest snowfall from the storm on Saturday, with up to 6 inches (15 cm) of accumulation possible in those regions, James said.