US forecasters warn of hypothermia and frostbite

Temperatures in Minnesota have broken records, falling to minus 37 degrees

Patrick Harden clears snow from the roof of his car on Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP

Patrick Harden clears snow from the roof of his car on Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP

 

Forecasters in the United States have warned of hypothermia and frostbite from Arctic air settling over central parts of the country and spreading east.

The freezing temperatures and sub-zero wind chills have broken records as they swept across much of the northern US.

The National Weather Service reported International Falls and Hibbing, Minnesota, had set record low temperatures on Wednesday morning. International Falls, the self-proclaimed Icebox of the Nation, fell to minus 37 degrees Celsius, breaking the old record of minus 32 degrees set in 1924.

Hibbing fell to minus 28 degrees, breaking the previous record of minus 27 degrees set in 1964.

Wind chill warnings were in effect for much of New England, northern Pennsylvania and New York.

The National Weather Service said wind chills in many areas on Thursday could make temperatures feel below zero.

Erie, Pennsylvania, was recovering from a storm that brought 86cm of snow on Christmas Day, smashing its previous daily snowfall record of 20cm. On Tuesday, another 67cm fell.

More than 1.6m of snow has fallen on the city since Christmas Eve.

New York

In New York, communities near Lake Ontario’s eastern end also saw about 1.5m of snow this week.

Officials said the storm’s timing was good as people were off the streets and staying home for Christmas, giving plows more space to work.

By Wednesday, Erie’s roads were relatively clear, emergency calls were slower and the big task was digging out, county executive Kathy Dahlkemper said.

“We’re used to a lot of snow here in Erie, but this is unprecedented,” Dahlkemper added. – Guardian