The Latest: Michigan government offices close amid snowstorm
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on a major snowstorm and the expected frigid weather in the Midwest (all times local):
Heavy snow has led to the closure of Michigan’s state government, including the Capitol building and legislative offices, as a snowstorm moves across the region ahead of frigidly cold weather.
Most state government offices in the Lower Peninsula were closed Monday morning except for offices handling critical functions. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is encouraging motorists to stay off the roads.
Heavy snow and gusting winds have also created blizzard-like conditions in Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois and other Midwestern states where officials have also closed schools, courthouses and businesses.
But it’s the plunging temperatures expected later this week that have forecasters especially concerned. Wind chills could dip to negative 55 degrees in northern Illinois, which the National Weather Service calls “possibly life threatening.”
A winter storm brought several inches of snow to northern Illinois as the region braces for record-low subzero temperatures.
The Chicago suburb of Palatine saw more than 5 inches (13 centimeters) Monday morning as the storm created slick roadways. A National Weather Service warning says up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) were possible by midday.
But Monday’s snow is just a precursor to what’s in store for Illinois starting Tuesday. Forecasters warn of record cold temperatures and wind chills that could be “possibly life threatening.”
The weather service says the Rockford area could get colder than the record low of minus 27 degrees (negative 32.8 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday. Chicago looks a few degrees above its record. But wind chills could dip to 55 degrees below zero (negative 48.3 degrees Celsius).
Heavy snow and gusting winds have created blizzard-like conditions across the Upper Midwest, prompting officials to close hundreds of schools, courthouses and businesses, and ground air travel.
Even snowplow drivers are having trouble keeping up with conditions Monday . And once the snowstorm is over, forecasters say record cold is expected to settle into the region.
More than a foot (30.5 centimeters) of snow was expected to accumulate Monday in southeastern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota. The largest public school districts in both states are among those closed, including districts in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In Wisconsin, courthouses and most offices are closed in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Columbia and Washington counties. More than three dozen flights were canceled early Monday at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee County.
In eastern North Dakota, officials have issued travel alerts because of blowing snow.
A winter storm pushing across the Upper Midwest is expected to dump more than a foot of snow in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The National Weather Service says blizzard conditions were reported Sunday in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Officials have issued a travel alert for north-central and eastern North Dakota due to snow and blowing snow, while no travel is advised in the south-central part of the state due to freezing rain and snow.
In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has declared a local snow emergency. The county’s courts and nonessential services will be closed Monday. Milwaukee Public Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools also will be closed.
Chicago could see 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) of snow, followed by arctic cold.
Meteorologist Tyler Hasenstein of the National Weather Service says parts of far southeastern Minnesota into western Wisconsin could see up to 14 inches (35.5 centimeters) of snow.