“At least the humidity is low,” joked a man in Canada’s capital, where temperatures hit -26C amid a freezing winter.
The blowing of bitter arctic air across the northern United States and Canada has resulted in winter cold alerts from US states from Montana to Maine, and as far as the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
The freezing air mass, introduced behind a cold front sweeping across the east coast into the Atlantic, was expected to bring a combination of freezing temperatures and winds that made it as cold as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 Celsius) in some places. , the US National Weather Service (NSW) said on Tuesday.
Low temperatures can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, the NWS said.
Schools in Massachusetts’ three largest cities – Boston, Worcester and Springfield – canceled classes Tuesday in response to wintry weather, saying they did not want children to be outside for long periods waiting for buses.
Wind chill warnings and advisories were issued Monday in 12 northern US states, from the northeast corner of Montana to northern Maine.
Environment Canada has also warned of extreme cold in much of Quebec, New Brunswick and other regions. In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, daytime temperatures hovered around minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit).
“When I arrived in Canada, it was so weird to see a 24-hour weather channel,” Umut Oguzoglu, an economics professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, said on Twitter of the freezing temperatures. “Now I know why it is necessary.”
“At least the humidity is low,” joked Emilio Alarcon, a professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada’s capital, where temperatures reached minus 26 Celsius (minus 15F).
— Dr. Emilio I. Alarcón (@EmilioIAlarcon1) January 11, 2022
The freezing temperatures in the United States were caused by a pocket of cold air from Canada, but the good news is that it should be a short-lived cold snap, said Bill Simpson, meteorologist at the National Weather Service of Norton, Massachusetts. , Office.
“We are getting an arctic cold front with a northwesterly flow, quickly changing to a southwesterly flow,” he told the Associated Press news agency, adding that temperatures are expected to reach around 40 degrees Fahrenheit ( 4.5 degrees Celsius) in the Boston area later in the week.
Wind chill temperatures in areas near Lakes Erie and Ontario in New York State are expected to drop to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) in the afternoon.
To make matters worse, parts of the state were expected to be hit with up to 0.6 meters of lake effect snow and winds of up to 64 kilometers per hour (40 mph).
Meanwhile, some US states and cities have implemented measures to respond to low temperatures.
Rhode Island has opened warming centers across the state for people who need temporary shelter from the cold, and in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu reminded residents that the city’s public library system is open to people looking for a place to warm up.