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January in the U.S. Midwest a snow record-breaker

Jan. 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM   |   Comments

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DETROIT, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Snowfall in several Midwestern cities is at near records for January -- and that's before a weekend storm expected to raise the accumulation, forecasters said.

Detroit has already experienced its snowiest January ever, logging 31.3 inches as of Saturday morning. The previous record was 29.6 inches in 1978, AccuWeather.com reported.

This is Motown's fourth-snowiest month ever. While it's unlikely to break the 38.4 inches logged in February, 1908, a storm system moving into the region Saturday night and Sunday morning is expected to drop as much as three more inches.

The snowfall combined with wind gusts up to 25 mph will create whiteout conditions in some places, WWJ-TV, Detroit, reported. Officials urged residents to remain indoors and avoid any unnecessary travel across large portions of the upper Midwest.

Chicago is also nearing its January snow record. The Windy City has gotten 30.7 inches of snow, just 1.7 inches shy of the all-time record for the month. More snow is expected this weekend, as well.

Fort Wayne, Ind., has also topped its monthly record, with 26.4 inches -- just ahead of the 26.3-inch high snow mark.

In Maryland, a polar bear swim to benefit the Special Olympics was canceled due to high winds and too much ice in Chesapeake Bay, the Baltimore Sun said. The event had 7,000 people registered to take a frigid plunge into the water at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Md.

Organizers said the event, which had never been canceled in its 18 years, will not be rescheduled.

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