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Record Cold Freezes Much of US

The dangerously cold weather that has turned the midwestern United States into one huge deep freeze is expected to move east and south on Tuesday.

High temperatures in major eastern cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington are expected to see temperatures colder than minus 10 degrees Celsius Tuesday, with wind chills making it unbearably cold.

Even normally temperate states, such as Florida and southern Texas, are expected to be about 20 degrees below normal.

Authorities already have closed schools for Tuesday in many cities, while authorities caution everyone to be extra careful. Doctors warn that exposure to such cold can bring on frostbite within minutes.

The life-threatening cold paralyzed much of the Midwest on Monday. Air temperatures were minus 23 Celsius in Chicago, Indianapolis and Minneapolis -- and minus 29 in International Falls, Minnesota, colder even than the South Pole.

More normal temperatures are forecast for later this week.



Forecasters say the widespread cold is caused by a rotating vortex of cold dense air being pushed south from its normal place in northern Canada.

OPTIONAL SOUNDBITES

Greg Ballard, Mayor, Indianapolis, Indiana:
"This weather combination that we are seeing right now with all of the snow and the cold is unlike anything that we've seen in decades in this area and I can't emphasize that enough. The cold really scares me and as such that we will have temperatures that are potentially deadly or certainly look (like) life-altering temperatures.''

Carl Erickson, Forecaster, AccuWeather:

"The good news is, although this is a very intense cold air mass system that we haven't seen in decades, it will not be long-lived. Even as we go into Wednesday the winds will begin to lessen, the cold air eases, and although no big warm-ups it will definitely feel a little bit better Wednesday compared to the next couple of days. Going into Thursday and Friday, looks like temperatures actually rebounding to near average levels, probably in that 5-to-10 degree above zero range in the big cities by Thursday and Friday."

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