American Mid-West Freezes at -36C Triggering Frostbite Warning

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The Upper Midwest remains locked in the deep  freeze, with bitter temperatures stretching into a fourth day across several  states.

The weather was so cold Tuesday that Chicago  firefighters found their equipment was freezing as they tried to beat back a  fire in a warehouse.

The five-alarm fire ripped through a  warehouse in Chicago’s south side Tuesday night and below-freezing temperatures  made it difficult for firefighters to hose it down.

The cold snap arrived Saturday night as waves  of Arctic air swept south from Canada, pushing temperatures to dangerous lows  and even leaving a section of the country hardened to winter’s pains  reeling.

Icicles form on a fire hose at the Chicago warehouse fire. he coldest location in the lower 48 states Monday was Embarrass, Minnesota, at -36C, according to the National Weather Service

Authorities suspect exposure has played a  role in at least four deaths so far.

‘I am wearing a Snuggie under a top and  another jacket over that,’ said Faye Whitbeck, president of the chamber of  commerce in International Falls, Minnesotta, a town near the Canadian border  where the temperature was -30C on Tuesday morning.

The so-called ‘Nation’s Icebox’  reached a  balmy -3C for a high. ‘I pulled out a coat that went right to my ankles this  morning and I wore two scarves,’ Miss Whitbeck added.

The coldest location in the lower 48  states  Monday was Embarrass, Minnesota, at -36C, according to the  National Weather  Service.

Forecasters said late Tuesday that overnight  temperatures wouldn’t get that low, but warned it was still frigid.

Temperatures have already or will  approach  levels not reached in the past two to four years in a number of locations by the  middle of the week from the Upper Midwest into the  Northeast.

Weather expert Henry Margusity told  AccuWeather: ‘The coldest  air mass in North America was sitting just north of  the Great Lakes over central and northern Ontario and western and central Quebec  Tuesday  morning.’

Temperatures reached below 40C in these areas  and dipped below zero from northern New England to much of Michigan and areas  near and north of  Chicago.

‘The air just north of the Great Lakes is  colder than that over the North Pole,’ Margusity said.

And forecasters warn there’s more to come.  The cold front will stick  around through the weekend from the Upper Midwest to  the mid-Atlantic  and New England. The bitterly cold air will dissipate by the  end of the  week and will not move into the Deep South.

Nighttime temperatures around 10 degrees made  it harder for Chicago  firefighters to battle a warehouse blaze described by  officials as one  of the largest in recent years. The Chicago Sun-Times reported  late Tuesday that more than 170 firefighters  responded to the five-alarm  inferno at an abandoned warehouse on the  city’s South Side that took nearly  three hours to get under control.

The Northeast was also feeling the chill from  Ohio to Maine.

In Connecticut, overnight temperatures were  expected to range from 0 to  10 degrees over the next several days, and the wind  chill could make it  feel as cold as -15C in some parts of the state. In  Millinocket, Maine, residents awoke to temperatures of -9C.

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