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How Cold Is It? It's So Cold That ...

Brrr. This woman was cold Friday in Washington, D.C. But even more frigid temperatures are descending on much of the nation.
Kevin Dietsch
Brrr. This woman was cold Friday in Washington, D.C. But even more frigid temperatures are descending on much of the nation.

... there's no hot air left in Washington.

We bet Two-Way readers can do much better than that. Feel free to answer our headline's question in the comments thread.

The news, of course, is that "record breaking cold" is expected through Monday "from the Northern Plains eastward into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley," according to the National Weather Service. It warns that:

"Many locations may see their temperature readings drop to near record values. By Sunday, afternoon temperatures across the Northern Plains/Upper Midwest may linger in the negative 10s/20s with lows plummeting that night to near -30 Fahrenheit. ...

"Incredibly, it may feel as cold as -50 to -60 on Sunday night over sections of the north-central states with the frigid air remaining in place into early next week. As the vortex shifts eastward, the polar air will begin to affect the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley with temperatures plummeting rapidly. While the air mass will modify, temperatures will remain downright cold with the forecast high in Chicago being only -11 on Monday."

Our hardy friends at Minnesota Public Radio say "it's been decades since parts of the Midwest experienced a deep freeze like the one expected to arrive Sunday, with potential record-low temperatures heightening fears of frostbite and hypothermia even in a region where residents are accustomed to bundling up."

Minnesota officials have already said schools across the state will be closed on Monday — "the first such closing in 17 years, because of projected highs in the minus teens and lows as cold as 30 below," MPR adds.

In Green Bay, Wis., the situation's so serious that the local newspaper has posted a video telling those planning to attend Sunday's Packers-49ers playoff game how to dress. Yes, even the folks in Wisconsin are reminding each other to layer up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reposted its tips on how to be "prepared to stay safe and healthy in winter." For instance, if you have to go outside be sure to do what mom always said:

"Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots."

We might simply suggest: Stay inside if you can.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.