MILWAUKEE (AP) — Hundreds of schools and several large universities closed their campuses Tuesday as temperatures plummeted across the Midwest, with forecasters warning that the frigid weather will get worse and could be life-threatening.
The extreme cold and record-breaking temperatures are crawling into a swath of states spanning from North Dakota to Missouri and into Ohio after a powerful snowstorm pounded the region earlier this week.
Arctic air early Tuesday dropped temperatures in the Dakotas and Minnesota to as low as minus 27 degrees (negative 33 degrees Celsius), with wind chills as cold as minus 59 (negative 51 degrees Celsius)
“You’re talking about frostbite and hypothermia issues very quickly, like in a matter of minutes, maybe seconds,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center.
Among the universities closed into Thursday are the University of South Dakota, Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis Public Schools officials also canceled classes through Wednesday, when the region is expected to experience frigidly low temperatures not seen in a quarter century. Hundreds of Michigan schools were closed Tuesday, including in Detroit, while Chicago Public Schools canceled Wednesday classes because of the anticipated cold snap.