Arctic air spreading frigid temps across the country

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Associated Press

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 11:00 AM

BENNETT, Wis. (AP) — Arctic air is moving across the middle of the country, sending temperatures plummeting.

City crews in Duluth, Minn., have been racing to clear streets before the deep freeze turns fluffy snow into rock-hard ice. Forecasters expect the daytime high to reach 13 today, but just 4 below on Saturday.

In northwestern Wisconsin, where a winter storm just dumped 17 inches of snow, forecasters say temperatures could plunge as low as 25 degrees below zero.

The National Weather Service says it reached 29-below just before sunrise in the town of Meeker in northwestern Colorado.

And the Dakotas are feeling it, too. A "Christmas at the Zoo" fundraiser in Minot, N.D., is one of several holiday events being called off because of the bitter temperatures. The National Weather Service has posted advisories in the two states for wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero. Temperatures that cold can quickly freeze exposed skin and cause hypothermia.

Temperatures were in the 60s this week in Missouri, but most of the state isn't expected to get out of the 30s today, with forecasters warning of a treacherous mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

%@AP Links

141-a-10-(Bob Oravec (OR'-ah-vehk), lead forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"degrees below zero"-Bob Oravec, with the National Weather Service, says the Northern Plains are in a deep freeze. (watch for dating) (5 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *141 (12/05/13)££ 00:10 "degrees below zero"

142-a-10-(Bob Oravec (OR'-ah-vehk), lead forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"wind chill values"-Bob Oravec, with the National Weather Service, says wind chills in the Northern Plains are anywhere from 20 to 40 below zero. (watch for dating) (5 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *142 (12/05/13)££ 00:10 "wind chill values"

143-a-08-(Bob Oravec (OR'-ah-vehk), lead forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"and South Dakota"-Bob Oravec, with the National Weather Service, says extreme cold slamming the Great Plains. (5 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *143 (12/05/13)££ 00:08 "and South Dakota"

144-a-11-(Bob Oravec (OR'-ah-vehk), lead forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"well below zero"-Bob Oravec, with the National Weather Service, says the cold in much of the central part of the country will stick around for a while. (5 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *144 (12/05/13)££ 00:11 "well below zero"

145-a-13-(Bob Oravec (OR'-ah-vehk), lead forecaster, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"next few days"-Bob Oravec, with the National Weather Service, says more of the country should be prepared to freeze as the cold moves east and west. (5 Dec 2013)

<<CUT *145 (12/05/13)££ 00:13 "next few days"

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