The Latest: ‘Barney’ cold snap is about to bite the US
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the bitter cold in the Midwest (all times local):
A weather expert says bitter cold as bad or worse than the 2014 polar vortex outbreak is coming to North America next week , as frigid air escapes the Arctic in two icy excursions into Canada and the continental United States.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue calls it “a textbook case of an Arctic outbreak.” He says the first bite of cold air will hit northern Michigan and bring extreme cold to Ontario, while the second will spin south over the Midwest and through the Great Lakes.
Maue predicts that overnight lows will dip as low as minus 25 degrees from Minneapolis to Chicago, with much worse wind chills.
He says some forecasters have nicknamed the frigid invasion of cold air “Barney” because computer forecast models show the cold air as chubby purple blobs.
Classes in Wisconsin’s largest school district have been canceled because of the bitter cold that’s wrapped the Upper Midwest.
Nearly 78,000 students in Milwaukee Public Schools are off Friday, when high temperatures are expected to reach just 2 degrees (negative 16.7 Celsius) with a wind chill of minus 23 (negative 20.5 Celsius).
The wind chill is of more concern because frostbite can occur within minutes.
Wind chill advisories are in effect across a broad swath of the Upper Midwest, where wind chill factors could dip to as low as 50 below zero (negative 45 Celsius) in parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota and to 35 below (negative 37 Celsius) in the Dakotas.
The weather is part of an arctic wave crawling across the region. Forecasters say the numbing cold weather is expected to linger into next week, with even colder temperatures midweek.
An arctic wave has wrapped the Upper Midwest in numbing cold. But the worst may be yet to come.
Wind chill advisories were issued for a broad swath of the Upper Midwest, where wind chill factors could dip to 40 to 50 degrees below zero (40 to 45 below zero, Celsius) in parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota and to 30 to 35 below (34 to 37 below, Celsius) in the Dakotas.
The deep freeze caused organizers of the Winter Carnival in Minnesota to cancel several events, including Thursday night’s parade through downtown St. Paul.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has closed its six outdoor skating rinks because of the cold weather.
Forecasters say the frigid weather is expected to linger into next week, with even colder temperatures midweek.