Spring has decidedly not sprung in the US, where a cold snap in the Midwest and Northeast is set to break records for April weather.
The upper Midwest was blasted with cold air on Thursday, where temperatures dropped into the teens and lower, according to the National Weather Service. Cities such as St Cloud, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin saw daily record lows, with temperatures in St Cloud reaching as low as 0F(-18C). Snow was also expected in the region.
The worst of the weather, however, was scheduled to hit the area on Friday, before moving towards the Northeast. Friday was set to be the coldest April day ever recorded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue.
Several other areas of Minnesota and North Dakota were forecast for lows in the single digits, setting them up to break daily records as well. Weather company meteorologist Michael Palmer referred to the weather as a “ridiculous late season arctic outbreak”.
“What a lovely winter we're having this spring,” the National Weather Service tweeted jokingly on Thursday. “Here's the SNOW FORECAST for Today-Saturday.”
The cold sweep was also expected to turn April showers into snow showers on the east coast over the weekend, dousing cities from Washington to Boston with slushy springtime flakes. Temperatures in New York City were expected to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal on Friday. Other northeastern cities could see temperatures 10 to 30 degrees below normal over the weekend.
The cold snap was expected to linger in the Plains, Midwest and Northeast through early next week.
The US has already broken cold-weather records this year, ringing in 2018 with the coldest-ever first week of the year in many places. Early January saw record lows in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, Appalachians, and much of New England, including a low of -27F(-33C) in Sioux City, Iowa, and -47F(-44C) in Hettinger, North Dakota.
The cold spell was responsible for at least 18 deaths over the week, according to officials. It also resulted in hundreds of flight delays and cancellations, and brought record high tides to Boston, Massachusetts. In Florida, hundreds of sea turtles were seen floating aimlessly in the water, apparently immobilised by a “cold stun”.
“When the water temperatures drop too much, our resident population of juvenile turtles – some adults, even – are stunned,” Florida Coastal Conservancy Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Swindall told local outlets at the time. “[The turtles] can’t utilise their muscles at all, so they can’t swim, they can’t lift their heads to breathe.”
Thankfully, Florida was expected to escape much of the cold this week.
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