US cities as cold as the Arctic. An Australian inferno. The UK covered in snow.It’s only one month into 2019 and meteorologists are already talking in superlatives as extreme weather patterns have brought cities and towns across the globe to a standstill.In the United States this week, some 200 million Americans experienced a historic deep freeze that saw temperatures plummet below -32 degrees Celsius (-26 Fahrenheit), killed at least 23 people and led to the cancellation of more than 2,300 flights.On Thursday, temperatures in 11 states in the continental US saw temperatures lower than the one recorded in Utqiagvik, Alaska’s northernmost city, situated north of the Arctic Circle.
Authorities in some of the hardest-hit cities such as Minneapolis and Chicago implored residents to stay indoors to prevent frostbite — in one Chicago hospital, doctors treated 50 frostbite victims; some may lose an arm or a leg.Across the pond, the United Kingdom recorded record lows this week as frosty weather pounded parts of England, Scotland and Wales.On Thursday, residents in Braemar in northeast Scotland experienced -14.4 C (6.1 F), according to the UK’s national weather service, the Met Office. This was the lowest temperature recorded in the UK since 2012.
Heavy snow has created roadblocks for travelers across the country. Some flights at London’s Heathrow Airport were canceled Friday; passengers were stuck on snow-covered runways at airports in Manchester and Liverpool earlier in the week.Hundreds of schools across parts of England and Wales closed Friday, with the Met Office continuing to warn of treacherous driving conditions in some southern parts of the country.In the southwestern county of Cornwall Thursday night, more than 100 motorists ended up abandoning their cars on a major highway blanketed in snow and walking to a pub, where they spent the night.Parts of France also came under a weather warning after heavy snow fall, Météo France, the national meteorological service, warned earlier this week.
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