MINNEAPOLIS – As the season's first bitter cold spell gripped the Upper Midwest on Wednesday, schools and officials farther east braced for the icy blast to spread their way as early as Thursday. People in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin were under a wind chill advisory Wednesday from the National Weather Service, as were parts of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Wednesday's highs ranged from 20 to 30 degrees below average in the northern U.S., according to the weather service. The temperature was 4 below in Fargo, North Dakota, early Wednesday, and a daylight reprieve in the single digits was short-lived, with lows Thursday morning forecast to be around minus-12. Duluth, Minnesota, was forecast for an overnight low of minus-5.
Amanda Wreggelsworth, of Portland, Maine, photographs the frigid sunrise as it highlights a bank of clouds over Casco Bay, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Portland, Maine. Much of the northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will stay cold for the next couple of days as the arctic air remains stuck over the northern Appalachians, the National Weather Service said. Amanda Wreggelsworth, of Portland, Maine, photographs the frigid sunrise as it highlights a bank of clouds over Casco Bay, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Portland, Maine. Much of the northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will stay cold for the next couple of days as the arctic air remains stuck over the northern Appalachians, the National Weather Service said.
Although many parts of the Northeast faced unusually warm weather Wednesday, temperatures were expected to quickly drop across many east coast areas by Thursday morning, according to weather reports. A snowstorm is expected to hit areas stretching from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., with some cities receiving as much as two inches of snow per hour throughout the day. "It looks like the cold air will come in fast enough and the storm will strengthen enough to produce a swath of heavy, wet and accumulating snow from the mountains of northern Virginia and West Virginia to much of New England," meteorologist Mike Dill told AccuWeather. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and New York City could see up to 12 inches of snow Thursday as the storm moves eastward from Midwest states including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and northern parts of Kentucky Wednesday night. As the storm makes its way toward the east coast, parts of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. will receive a bit of rain, which will eventually turn into snow as temperatures continue to drop.
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Plunging temperatures and gusty winds made their way Thursday into the Northeastern U.S., the next victim in the path of dangerously cold temperatures to hit the country. A strong Arctic cold front moved across the region with temperatures falling throughout the day and commuters, schools and outdoor workers slowing down, girding up, and taking precautions. Vermont public safety officials warned residents to limit their time outdoors at least through Friday with dangerous wind chills of minus-35 in the forecast. Some schools and government offices closed early in upstate New York ahead of lake-effect snow expected to bring 1 to 2 feet. In western Pennsylvania, lake-effect snow bands were blamed for slick roads and poor visibility.
In this Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 photo, ice forms in Carl Bentson's beard and mustache as he clears sidewalks near Colborne Street and St. Clair Avenue in St. Paul, Minn. In this Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 photo, ice forms in Carl Bentson's beard and mustache as he clears sidewalks near Colborne Street and St. Clair Avenue in St. Paul, Minn. A runner goes for a run in Eagle Creek Park as snow falls Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Indianapolis. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Arctic cold brought frigid temperatures to the Upper Midwest again on Wednesday and the cold was expected to spread east later in the week.