Sub-zero Arctic blast strikes US; temperatures coldest in 20 years
NEW YORK (AFP) - Millions of people across the United States on Monday made last minute preparations for an unusually bitter Arctic blast that could send temperatures plummeting to their coldest in 20 years.
The northeastern United States and parts of Canada have endured heavy snow and deadly sub-zero conditions since the start of the year, but the deep freeze is now moving through the midwestern United States and threatening usually balmy areas further south like Tennessee and Alabama.
The wind chill from the rare "polar vortex" could make it feel as cold as -60 Fahrenheit (-51 Celsius) in places, weather forecasters say, prompting authorities in several towns and cities to issue warnings that people should stay indoors and stock up on food.
Exposed skin could suffer frostbite in as little as five minutes in such conditions, experts warn.