Chicago Faces Colder-Than-Arctic Blast Nearing All-Time Record

(Bloomberg) -- It could be warmer above the Arctic Circle than in Chicago by Wednesday, with temperatures forecast to fall in the Windy City to 20-to-25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus-29 to minus-32 Celsius).

New York and Washington will be warmer, with a bit of snow.

Chicago is expected to approach an all-time record low of minus 27, set in 1985, according to Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Wind chill, meanwhile, could feel closer to minus-40 to minus-45.

“That is pretty amazing,” Hurley said by telephone on Monday. But there’s hope ahead for the weekend, when the cold is forecast to retreat across the U.S., with temperatures returning to seasonal levels or warmer, Hurley added.

More than 600 flights have been canceled in Chicago as of 6:30 a.m. with 6 inches of snow expected for all on Monday, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service. A total of 803 flights around the U.S. have been scrubbed.

Chicago Faces Colder-Than-Arctic Blast Nearing All-Time Record

The frigid air will drive deep into the central U.S., pushing lows into the 20s as far south as Mississippi, where about 2 inches of snow could fall through Tuesday. The corridor through the central U.S. is watched closely by energy traders because cold there can spark an uptick in natural gas demand .

While the bitter cold probably won’t reach record levels on the East Coast, temperatures in New York will still be frigid, with lows falling to 5 degrees Wednesday. Meanwhile, New York, Washington and other cities along Interstate 95 could get an inch or two of snow late Tuesday into Wednesday.

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