Bone-chilling cold gripped the middle of the US as 2018 began on Monday, breaking a low temperature record, icing some New Year’s celebrations and leading to at least two deaths attributed to exposure to the elements.
The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories covering a vast area from south Texas all the way to Canada and from Montana and Wyoming in the west through New England to the northern tip of Maine.
Dangerously low temperatures enveloped eight midwest states including parts of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Nebraska along with nearly all of Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.
The weather service said a temperature of minus 26C (minus 15F) was recorded in Omaha before midnight on Sunday, breaking a record low dating back to 1884, and the temperature was still dropping early on New Year’s Day. That reading did not include the wind chill effect. Last week, Omaha officials cited the forecast in postponing the 18th annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular that usually draws about 30,000 people.