Our Sharp Cold Waves is Heading East

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

MIDWEST - Temperatures crashed to Arctic levels Tuesday as a severe cold wave rolled across the upper Midwest on the heels of yet another snowstorm, closing schools and making most people think twice before going outside.

Thermometers read single digits early in the day as far south as Kansas and Missouri, where some areas warmed only into the teens by midday.

The ice and snow that glazed pavement was blamed for numerous traffic accidents from Minnesota to Indiana, where police said a truck overturned and spilled 43,000 pounds of cheese, closing a busy highway ramp during the night in the Gary area.

The bitter cold snap was responsible for at least one death Tuesday.

A 51-year-old man in northern Wisconsin died from exposure after wandering from his Hayward home early Tuesday, authorities said. His son reported him missing and said he was prone to sleepwalking, and deputies followed footprints in the snow to find the man about 190 yards from his house, Sawyer County Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle said.

The below-zero wind chills are covering the Midwest - from minus 10 below in Des Moines, Iowa to 50 below in Grand Forks, N.D., reports CBS' Early Show weather anchor Dave Price. That means busy days for car repairmen and those fixing furnaces; inside one house in a suburb of St. Paul, it was 44 degrees last night.

Still, some Minnesotans took it as just another winter day, even in the state's extreme northwest corner where thermometers bottomed out at 38 degrees below zero at the town of Hallock and the National Weather Service said the wind chill was a shocking 58 below.

"It's really not so bad," Robert Cameron, 75, said as he and several friends gathered for morning coffee at the Cenex service station in Hallock. "We've got clothing that goes with the weather. ... We're ready and rolling, no matter what."

"It's so beautiful. There's not a cloud in the sky," said Keith Anderson, 66. But he said that's not stopping him from skipping town at the end of the week to spend a couple of months in Nevada and Arizona.

Outside, one of the station's gas pumps froze up at least once, and assistant manager Terrie Franks had to go out to apply deicer spray.

"You definitely have to have gloves on because touching the cold metal - your hands are frozen," Franks said by telephone.

The weather service warned that exposed flesh can freeze in 10 minutes when the wind chill is 40 degrees below zero or colder.

At about 8 a.m., temperatures were minus 40 in International Falls and minus 35 in Roseau. Farther south, Minneapolis hit 18 below zero with a wind chill of 32 below and black ice was blamed for numerous accidents.

In neighboring North Dakota, Grand Forks dropped to a record low of 37 below zero Tuesday morning, lopping six degrees off the old record set in 1979, the National Weather Service said.

Schools were closed because of the cold as far south as Iowa, and authorities in Grand Rapids, Mich., went out urging the homeless to seek shelter.


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