CHICAGO (AP) — Another winter day, another below-zero high for many parts of the Midwest.
deep freeze has returned, bringing with it wind chills ranging from the
negative teens to 40s, cancelations of schools and trains, and signs of
resignation from parents forced to bring kids to work and residents who
are tired of bundling up.
"We had two (employees) call in because
they couldn't come to work because of the school closings and another
called in sick," said Kristelle Brister, the manager of a downtown
Chicago Starbucks who had to bring her 9-year-old son into the store
because his school was closed. "It's hard."
A persistent weather
pattern that's driving Arctic air south was forecast to force
temperatures to plummet for about 2 1/2 days, starting overnight Sunday.
Actual temperatures will range from the teens in northern Kentucky to
double-digits below zero in Minnesota, but even colder wind chills were
expected — minus 43 in Minneapolis, minus 18 in Dayton, Ohio, minus 14
in Kansas City, Mo., and minus 3 in Louisville, Ky.
Monday, weather forecasters in Chicago were telling viewers that the
high temperature for the day had already come and gone and that the low
may reach minus 4 degrees with wind chills at 40 below. Meanwhile, at a
24-hour drugstore in Omaha, Neb., where wind chills were 21 below, Amy
Henry said she was longing for warmer weather.
"I just look at my (apartment) pool every day and say, 'Oh, come on, summer,'" the 36-year-old store clerk said.
Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Blair stopped short of calling the
latest round of cold part of the polar vortex, a system of winds that
normally circulates around the North Pole.
"There's really nothing
abnormal about the air that's coming into the area," he said. "It's
just been a very persistent pattern" of cold air.
thermometer reading just 7 degrees in Grand Rapids, Mich., 47-year-old
Gary Sloan said the cold would not disrupt his day. The salesman at Used
Car Motor Mall said it's just a matter of dressing correctly.
type of weather, you've got to come armored. You've got to have your
snow pants. You've got to have your boots," Sloan said.
Chicago's Union Station, several people hoping to take trains early
Monday were told there would be no service until the afternoon. Homeless
people, looking for places to stay warm, kept a watchful eye for
security, knowing if they stayed in one place too long they would be
"You have to keep moving around," said Von Khan, 67, with big shopping bags in each hand and a backpack slung over his shoulder.
temperatures are expected to hold into Tuesday. If Chicago makes it to
60 hours below zero, it will be the longest stretch since 1983 — when it
was below zero for 98 hours — and the third longest in 80 years.
Public Schools called off Monday's classes for its nearly 400,000
students, as did suburban districts. Earlier this month, when it was
below zero for 36 straight hours, CPS closed for two days.
northern U.S., North Dakota and South Dakota residents dealt with
dangerous cold and wind gusts Sunday that reached up to 60 mph — blowing
snow to the point where it was nearly impossible to travel in some
spots. On Monday, snow drifts kept Interstate 29 closed from Sioux Falls
to the Canadian border before reopening in the morning. In Indiana,
where 50 mph gusts were recorded early Monday, officials recommended
only essential travel in more than half of its counties.
Windom, southwestern Minnesota, drifting snow and whiteout conditions
closed several highways Sunday, stranding about 70 people, including a
bus full of hockey players, at a recreation center for the night.
The surprise guests included three dogs.
"You can't very well keep your dogs out in the car," said Greg Warner, manager of the Business Arts and Recreation Center.
Michigan, which has in parts experienced its snowiest January on
record, expressways closed as snow and subfreezing temperatures played a
role in multiple crashes Sunday; at least three people died over the
weekend because of weather-related accidents.
Business is far from
usual this winter for Alex Alfidi, manager at Leo's Coney Island
restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham. His 24-hour restaurant
been getting some carryout patrons, but the casual walk-in customers
have stayed away.
"We slowed down big time," said Alfidi, 39. He said he's logged some challenging winters in his 15 years in Michigan.
"This is the biggest one," he said.