Bitter cold weather has blanketed the Central and Eastern United States, and it will stay in place for days into the new year.
Forecasters are warning people to be on alert for hypothermia and frostbite as the temperatures plunge below freezing. The National Weather Service reports that International Falls, Minnesota, plunged to minus 37 degrees Celsius (-34.6 Fahrenheit), breaking the record of minus 32 degrees Celsius (-25.6 Fahrenheit) set in 1924.
More snow for Erie
Residents of Erie, Pennsylvania, on Thursday continued to dig out of the one-and-a-half meters of snow that fell earlier this week. Forecasters are predicting another 25 centimeters (10 inches) of snow to arrive soon.
Weather observers at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire said the temperature there hit a record minus 37 degrees Celsius. They posted a video on Facebook showing a weather observer emptying a pitcher of boiling water into the air, where it immediately turned to snow in the frigid, hurricane-force winds.
Activists across the region are scrambling to get the homeless off the streets and rescue stranded travelers.
Trump pokes fun at climate change
President Donald Trump, at his Florida resort on Thursday, tweeted, “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record.”
He also took the opportunity to poke fun at climate change.
“Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against,’’ Trump tweeted. “Bundle up!’’
The president’s tweet attempts to link the temperature at any one place at any one time to the existence of global warming, something climate scientists have long said is an entirely inaccurate way to view global warming.
This month’s cold wave caps a year of ferocious hurricanes, heat waves, floods and wildfires that have wreaked global havoc, and are examples of extreme weather events that climate change scientist say are the result of global climate change.
Cuomo issues warning
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned residents and visitors to take precautions against the “dangerously cold weather” as millions prepare to pack into Times Square to see the crystal ball drop as they count down to the new year.
Temperatures on New Year’s Eve are expected to be nearly 10 degrees below normal in the Midwest and from Northeastern states all the way south to the Carolinas. This includes large cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Washington and Atlanta.
As Americans cope with the frigid end to 2017, the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter Thursday was #ItsSoCold.