Bitter cold, more snow expected across U.S. after record-breaking Christmas

By Susan McFarland  |  Dec. 26, 2017 at 9:10 AM
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Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Large snow totals and frigid temperatures are forecast across the United States for the rest of the week, after some places saw record snow for Christmas.

Snow has piled up across the northern swath of the country -- from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes -- as a winter weather system interacts with an arctic boundary -- causing record-breaking snow totals, hazardous travel conditions and dangerous wind chills.

East of Lakes Erie and Ontario, as many as 4 feet of snow are expected through the middle of the week, and low-elevation snow is causing hazardous travel in western Washington and Oregon, according to the National Weather Service.

This month has been Pennsylvania's snowiest ever -- and the city of Erie recorded its snowiest Christmas Day ever, with 34 inches.

As far as temperatures, Chicago and Minneapolis saw their coldest Christmas since 1996 -- and Duluth, Minn., broke a temperature record that dated to 1933.

Forecasters said as many as 50 inches of snow could fall in western New York state this week. Totals also are rising in New England, with 15 inches reported in Maine and one foot in New Hampshire.

Dangerous wind chills are affecting 18 states from Montana to New York, with reports of temperatures as cold as 50 degrees below zero in the Northern Plains. In Cape Cod, Mass., wind speeds reached over 75 mph and Long Island, N.Y., saw gusts of more than 60 mph.

Skin exposed to chills that low can suffer frostbite in just 10 minutes, forecasters say.

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