Welcome to winter! Second polar plunge dumps FIVE FEET of snow on Great Lakes, stranding drivers and shutting down highways as 49 states dip below freezing
- Five feet of snow is expected around Buffalo, New York
- 49 states, from Wisconsin to Florida, are experiencing below-freezing temperatures
- Half of the nation is blanketed in snow
- Authorities shut down the New York State Thruway in western New York
- Dozens of drivers are stranded on the Thruway after getting caught in incredible pile-up of lake effect snow
America has awakened to the harsh reality of winter today after arctic air blasted 49 states with freezing temperatures and dumped an incredible five feet of snow on parts of the Great Lakes in just a few hours.
In western New York, authorities were forced to close down the New York State Thruway after snow piled up by the foot overnight.
More than three feet of snow has fallen in and around Buffalo, New York. Watertown, New York, has been hit almost as hard. Nearly two feet has piled up in northern Wisconsin. Northern and western Michigan expects one to two feet.
Dozens of drivers were stranded and officials declared a state of emergency in Buffalo and the surrounded suburbs. Authorities were enforcing a travel ban and urging residents to stay home, according to the Buffalo News.
In Northeast Ohio, temperatures hit record lows for November as wind chills dropped to -8 degrees. Lows in Chicago dropped to 12 degrees with a wind chill of -6.
The arctic blast is expected to bring temperatures well below freezing as far south as Houston on Tuesday morning. Northern Florida and the southeast have even dropped below freezing. In Mariana, Florida, the low this morning was 31 degrees.
Even lower temperatures are expected for tomorrow in the southeast - where even New Orleans could drop to 31 degrees, setting a record low for this time of year, according to Accuweather.com.
The winter weather has caused 17 deaths - mostly from car crashes because of slippery roads - since Saturday. More crashes are expected as commuters re-learn how to drive in the snow.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2838901/Welcome-winter-Second-polar-plunge-bring-record-November-chills-South-THUNDERSNOW-New-York-FIVE-FEET-white-stuff-Great-Lakes.html#ixzz3JRVesogt