Experts say that roughly two-thirds of the United States can expect chilly temperatures in the coming days, not long after the East Coast was battered by a harsh nor’easter. As parts of the country brace for the lowest temperatures in nearly 20 years, many schools and businesses advised staying home on Monday and through Tuesday.
“A bitterly cold, arctic air mass will continue to bring dangerously-low temperatures and wind chill values across the central and eastern U.S.,” stated the National Weather Service on its website.
Southern states are also in for a deep freeze, with record low temperatures seen from Texas to Florida. CNN reported that much of the lower Southern states are facing single-digit temperatures and freeze warnings are already in effect. Tennessee has declared a state of emergency while many state and local governments advise residents to stay inside for the duration.
Travel has not only ceased on the roads, but airports across the nation are also packed with frustrated passengers. More than 2,400 flights in the United States were canceled on Monday, with over 3,800 flights canceled on Sunday. The snow and ice are also causing trouble on runways, and at least one incident over the weekend involved a passenger plane skidding into a snowbank.
Also among the affected are outdoorsmen and women. Those who dare to brave the Arctic temperatures will find themselves in the midst of what experts are calling a “polar vortex,” a large cyclone of cold air sweeping down from the North Pole. Anglers in Texas and elsewhere are concerned that the low temperatures could result in a fish-kill. That however, will not stop ice fishermen from hitting the lakes, or strangely enough, bird watchers. In the Quad-Cities area, the bitterly cold temperatures are drawing a record number of bald eagles to feed, and a large number of birdwatchers as well.
“Just as these are the coldest temperatures in 20 years, we will likely have the greatest number of eagles congregating in the Quad-Cities in 20 years,” Joe Taylor, the executive director of the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a press release.
Waterfowlers on the East Coast may also have the cold to thank for earlier duck and goose migrations, as lower temperatures usually hasten bird movement.