By Alison Fox
November 11, 2019
NOAA

As if we needed another reminder that summer is long gone, a record-breaking cold front is sweeping across the country this week, bringing up to a whopping 30 inches of snow in some places. 

The arctic blast — as many have dubbed it — dumped freezing temperatures and snow on a large swath of the country, disrupting travel and even turning deadly. The wintry temperatures stretched from Oklahoma City all the way up through the Northeast, Tyler Roys, a Meteorologist with AccuWeather, told Travel + Leisure.

On Monday, more than 1,000 flights were canceled at Chicago’s airports, The New York Times reported

The glacial weather even caused an American Eagle flight to slide off the runway at Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport with all 38 passengers and three crew members having to be deplaned and brought back to the terminal, CNN reported. When the plane slid, there was less than one mile of visibility and wind gusts of 30 miles per hour with light snow falling. All on board the flight were safe. 

The storm even turned deadly, including an 8-year-old girl in Kansas who was killed on Monday after a truck lost control on a highway and hit her vehicle head on before another car rear-ended it, and three people who were killed in Michigan in a two-vehicle crash caused by bad road conditions, according to The NYT.

NOAA

On Tuesday, the cold front was expected to move through the Southern Plains to the Ohio River Valley before heading to the Gulf and East Coast by Wednesday, according to The Times.

The frosty temperatures are so cold, as of Tuesday morning they were set break or tie more than 360 cold weather temperature records from Monday to Thursday morning, according to National Weather Service data reported by The Weather Channel.

And in New York City, for example, Roys said the Big Apple could potentially tie a record low of 22 degrees on Tuesday night — the record was set in 1873.

“Right now, it is primarily settled across from northeastern Kansas through the Great Lakes, moving in to the western side of New York,” Roys said on Monday. “We’re looking at snowfall really today through tomorrow — primarily the heaviest is going to be the Great Lakes through northern New England. Some of that will be based on lake effect.”

Roys said areas like northern Indiana and far southwestern Michigan could see up to 30 inches of snow while the area along the U.S./Canadian border like northern New York and Vermont, could see up to a foot.

“The storm system is unique for many places,” he added, especially pointing to areas like Boston, because “The high for Tuesday is going to occur between midnight and the morning commute. The high for the day is going to occur while you’re sleeping.”

Roys also warned that Wednesday's commute will be difficult “so people really need to take precautions for that.”

“It’s going to feel in the single digits Wednesday morning in many places in the Great Lakes and Northeast,” he added. “Any substantial time out there… [make] sure you have your winter gear all set up and ready.”

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