NEW YORK – An arctic blast from Canada is responsible for some of the frigid temperatures in the northern U.S. and some of the coldest air to hit the Northeast in two years.
The cold was linked to at least two deaths in the Northeast, including that of a woman whose frozen body was found in a driveway.
Temperatures were projected to fall well below zero across New England on Sunday night as a high-pressure area builds over the region. The coldest spots will dip to less than 30 degrees below zero, with the wind chill expected to drop to 51 below zero in some places, the National Weather Service said.
"This is the coldest air we've had in about two years," said Michael Hill, a weather service meteorologist in Caribou, Maine.
Emergency management agencies were urging residents to bundle up and heat their homes safely. Shelters were preparing for an increase in the number of people wanting to get out of the cold, and authorities in Maine and Pennsylvania waived restrictions on heating oil delivery.
Northern New England is used to cold winters; a remote site in northern Maine recorded a minus 50 reading on Jan. 16, 2009, that tied a 1933 record set in Vermont for the coldest temperature recorded in New England.