Date
22 September 2017
An unexpected snowfall results in a chain of fender benders in Duluth, Minnesota, on Monday. Photo: Reuters
An unexpected snowfall results in a chain of fender benders in Duluth, Minnesota, on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Arctic blast hits Canada, US Midwest

Winter has come to parts of Canada and the US Midwest with a vengeance.

Frigid air pushed in by a powerful storm that hit Alaska with hurricane-force winds drove temperatures down by up to 22 degrees Celsius in days, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Over a foot of snow fell on parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan overnight on Monday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Justin Titus said roads on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula were in a “very poor condition”, with two to three inches of snow falling per hour on Tuesday morning.

In Minnesota, state police said at least two people were killed in accidents on icy roads.

Snowy roads were blamed for a Wisconsin school bus crash that sent two adults to hospital.

The big chill came as a shock, as it suddenly followed on the heels of warm autumn weather.

David Phillips, a climatologist for Environment Canada, said Calgary had its warmest October in 50 years. The average temperature rose to 8.3C from the normal 5.2C.

On Saturday afternoon, he said, the temperature in Calgary was 14.4C, but it dropped 32 degrees in the next 36 hours.

The chain of events leading to this cold wave can be traced back to Super Typhoon Nuri, which boosted the North Pacific jet stream east of Japan, the website Mashable said.

During the weekend, Nuri became one of the strongest storms ever observed in the Bering Sea.

The counterclockwise circulation around the storm pumped mild air over Alaska and northwestern Canada, strengthening an area of high pressure that pushed arctic air southward.

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CG/FL

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