The record-breaking deep freeze that enveloped the Midwest yesterday sent temperatures tumbling in New England today, bringing some of the coldest air in five years. The Arctic blast is so massive, frost can be found as far south as the Gulf Coast.
In New York state, temperatures plummeted from the mid-30s yesterday to the single digits and to below zero today. The Empire State is one of 15 states under a windchill advisory or windchill warning, as windchill temperatures are expected to settle around 20 degrees below zero in and around Albany.
Across Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, the brutal cold has left even the hardiest of Midwesterners struggling. Forecasters issued a lake effect snow warning for southwestern Michigan today.
"It's been many, many, many years since I've seen a winter this harsh," Brian Nelson, owner of a trucking company in International Falls, Minn., told "World News." With temperatures at 42 below, Nelson's diesel fuel froze today.
Thermometers showed staggering readings -- in Babbitt, Minn., near the Canadian border, temperatures dropped to 48 below. Minus 28 in Wakefield, Mich., and 27 below in Wisconsin.
"They are extremely dangerous. You can lose your life to hypothermia and you can lose your limbs to severe frostbite," said Dr. Doug Brunette, emergency physician at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. "My recommendation is not to challenge nature."
Doctors at Brunette's Minneapolis hospital treated more than a dozen people for frostbite and hypothermia. In Wisconsin, the freezing blast has been blamed for one death so far.
On Tuesday, at 51-year-old man in northern Wisconsin died of exposure after wandering from his home, according to authorities. His son told police the man was prone to sleepwalking.
For more on the dangers of windchill and how to prevent frostbite, click here.
After following footprints in the snow, detectives found the man about 190 yards from his Hayward home.
In Chicago, the cold snap was made crueler by another blast of snow, tying up trains, planes and automobiles. A commuter train derailed. At O'Hare International Airport, more than 200 flights were canceled, leaving passengers scrambling. Snow hurt visibility, snarling traffic