“Life threatening” cold temperatures and icy weather conditions have hit the Midwest and the Northeast United States this weekend.
The blast of frigid air is bringing subfreezing temperatures across the country, and icy conditions on the roads have caused accidents, including one that claimed the lives of three people in Virginia and Maryland, CNN reported.
Icy conditions on I-95 in Baltimore caused a 55-car accident that left at least two people dead, 15 injured, and drivers stranded for hours at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, according to Chief Roman Clark, a Baltimore Fire Department spokesman.
The cause of the accident was a tanker that fell off the I-95 bridge and exploded in the freezing rain, the Baltimore Sun reported.
In northern Virginia, one person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash on I-495 in Fairfax County, Virginia, state police said.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said in an advisory that people in North Dakota face “life-threatening” cold and an increased risk of frostbite if exposed ten minutes or less to the temperatures outside.
In Montana, the NWS said that people should protect themselves against hypothermia due to the dangerous wind chills in the state. Temperatures in Montana could go down to minus 30 degrees, meteorologist Kenneth James of the Weather Prediction Center said to the Daily Mail.
NWS officials say the bitter cold air is due to an arctic blast of air blowing south from Canada across the U.S. border into the Midwest. A storm system has also swept in from the Pacific Ocean, bringing snowfall to large sections of the U.S. as it moves slowly to the East Coast, NWS officials said.
According to James, snow up to six inches is expected in Wisconsin, Indiana, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.