Parts of the eastern United States could experience historically low temperatures over the next few days, meteorologists predict.
Bitterly cold air from Siberia is producing dangerous and record-breaking low temperatures on February 19 and 20 stretching from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. Lows close to zero will reach as far south as South Carolina.
Temperatures are 20 to 40 degrees F below normal for February from the Mid-Atlantic to the South.
Schools in Chicago have closed and trains in the north-east corridor have been affected by the cold.
Extreme cold warnings are also in effect in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.
Frigid temperatures are expected to continue into Friday, February 20.
Record lows have already been broken in Kentucky, where it was -8F on Thursday morning in Paducah and most of state was below 0F.
Weather forecasters believe the cold air will help break more than 100 daily record lows, NBC News reports.
In Atlanta, temperatures dipped to 15F overnight and officials were trying to determine whether two people found dead had been killed by the cold.
The extreme cold is also threatening electricity grids in Tennessee – more than 30,000 lost power on February 18 and officials are calling for residents to conserve energy as the state remains in an emergency footing.
Temperatures in Washington DC are set to reach 2F, the lowest in 20 years.
Even Orlando, Florida, was expected to see temperatures fall below freezing.
The bitter cold comes after a series of severe snow storms have hit the north-east, with residents of Massachusetts and further north seeing more than 70 inches of snow within weeks, paired with sub-freezing temperatures.
More snow was forecast for parts of northern Maine and Canada as well as areas around the Great Lakes.
Forecasted Highs/Lows in the Eastern United States:
The Farmers’ Almanac that hits newsstands Monday predicts a winter storm will hit the Northeast around the time the Super Bowl is played at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
The 197-year-old publication also predicts a colder-than-normal winter for two-thirds of the country and heavy snowfall in the Midwest, Great Lakes and New England.
“We’re using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-L-D. It’s going to be very cold,” said Sondra Duncan, managing editor.
Based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, the almanac’s secret formula is largely unchanged since founder David Young published the first almanac in 1818.
Modern scientists don’t put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80% of the time.
The Farmers’ Almanac predicts a winter storm will hit the Northeast around the time of Super Bowl
Last year, the forecast called for cold weather for the eastern and central U.S. with milder temperatures west of the Great Lakes. It started just the opposite but ended up that way.
Caleb Weatherbee, the publication’s elusive prognosticator, said he was off by only a couple of days on two of the season’s biggest storms: a February blizzard that paralyzed the Northeast with 3 feet of snow in some places and a sloppy storm the day before spring’s arrival that buried parts of New England.
Readers who put stock in the almanac’s forecasts may do well to stock up on long johns, especially if they’re lucky enough to get tickets to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. The first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold-weather environment could be both super cold and super messy, with a big storm due February 1 to 3, the almanac says.
Sondra Duncan said: “It really looks like the Super Bowl may be the Storm Bowl.”
The Maine-based Farmers’ Almanac, not to be confused with the New Hampshire-based Old Farmer’s Almanac, which will be published next month, features a mix of corny jokes, gardening tips, nostalgia and home remedies, like feeding carrots to dogs to help with bad breath and using mashed bananas to soothe dry, cracked skin in the winter.
Also in this year’s edition, editor Peter Geiger is leading a campaign to get people to ditch the penny, like Canada is doing.
Past campaigns have focused on moving Thanksgiving to harvest time in October, reconsidering “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem and changing the color of money. This time, Peter Geiger thinks he has a winner.
He wants people to donate pennies to charity and then lobby Congress to stop making them.
“They don’t get used very much. They get tossed. The only real use of a penny is if you save tens of thousands of them, then you can use them to help someone,” Peter Geiger said.
Hungary has deployed tanks to reach snowbound motorists as cold weather causes transport chaos across Eastern Europe.
T-72 battle tanks trundled along icy roads, while thousands of people waited in cars on the M1 motorway from Budapest to Vienna.
Many had been stuck on the road since Thursday evening.
As Hungary was celebrating its national holiday on Friday many people were travelling when the extreme weather struck.
A series of accidents on the M1 trapped travellers as the snow built up around them.
Hungary has deployed tanks to reach snowbound motorists as cold weather causes transport chaos across Eastern Europe
On Friday afternoon, Hungarian interior ministry sent text messages to all mobile phone subscribers, telling people to stay in their cars as long as their fuel lasted, then move to other vehicles to stay warm.Meteorologists had predicted the cold weather but the sheer number of people trapped in the snow appears to have overwhelmed disaster management services.
Wind gusts of up to 100 km/h (60 mph) and snowdrifts up to 1 m (3 ft) high were reported. The wind is forecast to drop significantly while freezing temperatures will continue.
Heavy snow paralyzed parts of south-eastern Poland, where police were redirecting heavy lorries for fear they would get stuck
At least 19,000 households were left without power in eastern Slovakia after high winds damaged the grid and lorries backed up on a road
Melting snow caused flooding in Kosovo, with reports that a girl of 10 was drowned
In Bulgaria, a woman was killed when high winds brought down scaffolding in the town of Gabrovo.
A checklist of must-do treatments and the products you’ll need to combat total beauty breakdown over the chilly season:
At this time of year your face has the triple-whammy of freezing winds, central heating and lots of alcohol to contend with. As you know, the cold weather will really dry out your face, while central heating and booze are both terribly dehydrating, so you skin is in danger of becoming totally parched. So, make sure your stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day, but you can also give your skin a helping hand when you’re indoors by spritzing regularly with a hydrating spray like Vichy Purete Thermale Spa Water.
2. EXFOLIATE Thirsty, central-heating-parched skin can quickly start looking dull and dreary thanks to the build-up of dry dead skin cells, so exfoliating regularly is a must. Use Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel with Rose Petals, a refreshing gel that buffs dead skin away while eliminating impurities. Some scrubs can be a little harsh, especially on sore winter skin, but this one has a gentle formula so even the most sensitive skin is kept feeling soft and supple.
If your skin is really suffering the effects of cold weather, you have to revive it with a deep-hydrating mask such as Caudalie Moisturising Cream-Mask, which gives a wonderful quenching boost to stressed out and dehydrated skin.
The cold weather will really dry out your face, while central heating and booze are both terribly dehydrating, so you skin is in danger of becoming totally parched
4. MOISTURIZE As you know, there are all sorts of moisturizers available and you should be using different moisturizing products depending on the time of year. In the winter months, you can use facial oils to really care for my complexion.
They’re not at all as greasy and heavy as you might expect and they really do enrich and revive your dried out skin. Try Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+, a potent plant blend that restores the lost radiance of a moisture-depleted complexion.
5. CALM If you occasionally get heightened coloring thanks to the cold or central heating, it’s worth investing in a corrective moisturizer to combat redness. Avène Antirougeurs Jour Redness Relief Moisturising Protective Emulsion is a caring and correcting daily moisturizer that really helps calm flushed skin.
6. PROTECT Just because it’s freezing outside, doesn’t mean you can forget about protecting your face from harmful UV rays – they’re always there, sneakily causing damage, even on cloudy days.
So before you head out, remember to smooth on a protective layer of moisturizer. Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich Protective UV SPF20 is a wonderfully creamy hydrating formulation.
7. CARE The skin around your eyes and on your lips is delicate and particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. It’s well worth investing in a special eye treatment cream such as Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Instant Rescue Eye Treatment to soothe and smooth the gentle skin around your peepers.
Likewise a decent lip treatment will really help rescue a parched kisser. Try La Roche-Posay Ceralip Lip Repair Cream. And the last thing before heading out is to slick on a coat of Dior Addict Lip Glow Colour Awakening Lipbalm SPF 10, to keep your pout properly protected all day.
Rome’s iconic Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) appears to be the latest monument to show its age as chunks of plaster and stucco, measuring up to three inches wide, have been falling from the structure.
According to The Telegraph, this is due to February unusual cold weather. Snow and ice infiltrated existing cracks then expanded.
Part of the Fontana di Trevi was roped off Monday after the damage was noticed. Pieces that look close to falling off are being removed to protect tourists below.
The fountain was last restored in 1990.
Rome's iconic Fontana di Trevi appears to be the latest monument to show its age as chunks of plaster and stucco have been falling from the structure
Meanwhile, Rome has had to deal with reports that its Colosseum might be crumbling and Venice is levying a tourist tax to help the city weather perpetual crowds. The peninsula, it would be fair to say, has seen better days.
Italy isn’t alone. China’s Great Wall is collapsing due to mining and, in the U.S., a number of historical sites have fallen into disrepair, landing on a list of the most endangered historic places.
Black Sea is frozen near the Romanian coastline and villagers in Serbia and Bosnia were airlifted from their homes after being cut off without food, after the dramatic icy weather hit Europe.
The cold weather in Central and Eastern Europe has caused traffic chaos, power outages and even deaths all over the planet as people battle frostbite and hypothermia.
Meanwhile in Italy, snow fell in Rome today for the first time in 26 years as freezing temperatures took the death toll across Europe to more than 150.
Rome is usually blessed by a moderate climate but the snowfall prompted authorities stop visitors from entering the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, the former home of Rome’s ancient emperors.
The last substantial snowfalls in Rome were in 1985 and 1986, though there have been other cases of lighter snow since then, including in 2010.
The director of the Colosseum, Rossella Rea, said the sites were closed out of fears that visitors could slip on ice.
Snow began falling in the late morning Friday, leaving a light dusting on trees and cars and forming slush on the roads. It wasn’t clear if there would be any significant accumulation on the ground.
But the most dramatic situation is in Ukraine, where 101 people have now died as a result of freezing weather in the country since last Friday, the government has announced in Kiev.
Most of the 101 who died were homeless people and 64 of them were found dead on the streets, the emergencies ministry said.
Hundreds of others have been treated in hospital for frostbite, hypothermia and other cold-related conditions.
Temperatures plunged to below -35C in parts of Eastern Europe this week.
At least eight more deaths were reported in Poland on Thursday, bringing the death toll there since last week to 37.
Black Sea is frozen near the Romanian coastline
Cold weather deaths have been reported across Eastern and Central Europe:
• Russia recorded 64 cold weather deaths for the whole of January, Interfax news agency reports, but it is unclear if this is related directly to the hard frosts which began last week
• In Serbia at least 11,000 villagers have been trapped by heavy snow and blizzards in mountainous areas, the Associated Press reports
• In Italy, weather experts said it was the coldest week for 27 years.
• In Romania, 24 people have died because of cold weather during last days.
In Ukraine, more freezing weather was forecast for Friday, with overnight temperatures set to fall to as low as -32C in the north and west.
The authorities closed schools and colleges and set up nearly 3,000 heating and food shelters across the country.
Health officials instructed hospitals not to discharge homeless patients, even after treatment, in order to save them from the cold.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov announced that the country had burnt 1 billion cu m of gas in just three days.
The country’s gas order from Russia for the whole of 2012 is 27 billion cu m.
“It’s a very hard time for the country,” he said, promising that the difficulties would be overcome.
The Russian gas supplier, Gazprom, said Ukraine was exceeding the level of gas consumption envisaged in the contract.
Most Russian gas exports to EU countries transit Ukraine. On Thursday Austria’s energy firm OMV reported a 30% drop in its supply of Russian gas, while Italy’s gas distributor Snam Rete Gas said its Russian gas was down by about 20%.
In the winter of 2009 Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas meant for European customers. Gazprom cut supplies, leaving more than a dozen countries short of Russian gas.
Some, like Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia, are almost completely dependent on supplies via Ukraine and so were left with major shortages, during a very cold spell in Europe.
Ukraine’s Emergencies Minister Viktor Baloga has advised the public to take more exercise as a remedy against the cold.
“You need to get up in the morning, take active exercise and work,” he was quoted by Ukrainskaya Pravda as telling reporters on Wednesday.
“It hasn’t killed anyone yet and only makes a person fitter.”
His personal advice to keep warm, he added, was to “run 8-10km [5-6 miles] every morning and bathe in cold water, all year round”.