What started in Alaska as persistent temperatures in the -40 to -60 degree range moved into central Canada and is now pushing southeast into the northeastern U.S.
Chicago dropped to -11 at O'Hare Thursday morning -- the coldest daytime temperature there in more than a decade. Pollock, S.D. dropped to a record-setting -47.
At the University of Maine, students went to class in -32 degree weather, setting up stories they'll tell their grandkids about when they complain about walking to school in -16 weather in 2037.In Michigan, the temperature in Pellston, in the northern Lower Peninsula, dropped to 25 below zero overnight, while in upstate New York, low temperatures Thursday morning included 2 in Buffalo and 25 below zero in Massena. New York City, where light snow fell overnight, saw lows in the teens.
How cold is it? Weather officials in western New York predicted that Lake Erie will freeze over for the first time in five years within a week.
How about Minnesota, where 0 degrees in winter is shorts weather? Even they're thinking of perhaps donning long sleeves. The temperature was 29 degrees below zero in Glenwood, Minn., on Thursday morning, with the wind chill making it a staggering 54 degrees below zero. It was 21 degrees below zero in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the coldest reading there since January 2004. (Which, according to these charts means they actually roll down those sleves.)
It's so cold, you can hammer a nail with a banana. Don't believe me? Check out what KARE meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas did on their newscast Thursday morning.
The town of Clinton, Iowa, was that state's frigid spot overnight at 27 below zero. It hit 15 below zero early Thursday in Des Moines, the coldest there since 1996, said Craig Cogil of the National Weather Service.
The cold was pushing southward, where even northern Georgia and Kentucky could see single-digit lows by Friday, with zero possible at Lexington, Ky., the weather service warned. Kentucky hasn't been that cold since December 2004.
How about the flip side?
And as we've been saying here recently, it's been warm in the west. Fairbanks, Alaska hit 0 degrees on Tuesday -- the first time they had been above zero since Dec. 26. On Wednesday, it climbed to 32 -- making it the first time they saw the freezing mark since October 11th.