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Record-breaking cold sends shivers through new year

by Leigh Jones
Posted 1/02/18, 11:13 am

The new year began with record-breaking cold across the country, with the National Weather Service issuing wind chill advisories from South Texas to Canada and from Montana and Wyoming through New England. Temperatures dropped precipitously in South Dakota, breaking a 99-year-old record with a low of minus 32 degrees. Nebraska’s low of minus 15 degrees broke a record set in 1884 and prompted officials in Omaha to cancel the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Officials in Des Moines, Iowa, closed an outdoor ice skating rink after temperatures hit 20 below zero, while Montana recorded a low of minus 58. Despite the record-breaking temperatures, revelers in Milwaukee, Wis., embraced the New Year’s tradition of jumping into Lake Michigan for the annual Polar Plunge. Organizers in Chicago canceled a similar event after officials warned diving into the icy water would be far too dangerous. And on Pigeon Lake in western Michigan, officials canceled the annual New Year’s Day water ski show for the first time since 1980 because a layer of ice covered the top of the water.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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