On Sunday in Great Falls, Montana, the temperature sat at 32 below, tying the previous all-time cold record for March.
A blast of arctic air is to blame for the subzero temperatures and even colder wind chills, rolling into the state as pages flipped on calendars to signal March had arrived.
According to USA Today, other towns broke their March all-time cold records in the chill, including Cut Bank, Montana where 33 below eclipsed the 32 below temp set back in 1960. In Havre, Montana the wind chill reached 60 below around 5 a.m.
In Glasgow, Montana, a National Weather Service meteorologist embarked on the boiling water challenge by tossing a pot of water over his head at 14 below. The NWS Glasgow team posted the video to Twitter, where the water instantly turns to powdery snow.
The NWS said that the cold in Montana is expected to last through Monday morning and then temperatures would gradually rise through the week and approach averages for March, highs of which are typically in the 40s.
However, the arctic chill expanded into other parts of the country, bringing frigid temperatures approximately 30 to 50 degrees below normal to the Plains, the Ohio Valley and as far south as Houston, Texas and Montgomery, Alabama.
The cold can be blamed on a high-pressure jet stream from the Gulf of Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.
The cold will persist further into the week as Chicago experiences negative windchills and highs in the single digits on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the south, cities such as Memphis and Dallas will see low temperatures in the teens and highs at least ten degrees below average.
Parts of Florida will also see the cold creep in, with Orlando’s high temperatures forecast to hover in the mid-40s on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the northeast, the cold will push in behind Winter Storm Scott, which is expected to dump between five and ten inches from Philadephia to Bangor, Maine. In New Jersey, governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival Sunday and public schools in New York City and Boston canceled classes for Monday.
Mid-week highs for much of New England are set to remain in the teens.
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