Update: JFK has now reopened.
It’s cold out there. Cold enough that JFK’s runways are so frozen, airplanes literally are skidding off runways, which is what happened seconds ago to a Delta airplane landing at JFK.The result: JFK is now closed until further notice.
— NYCAviation (@NYCAviation) January 5, 2014
Officials announced that John F. Kennedy International Airport was closed Sunday morning because of inclement weather. The announcement came shortly after a plane that had landed at the airport skidded while exiting a runway.
A freezing rain advisory is in effect for much of the tri-state area.
The FAA said Delta Connection 4100, which originated in Toronto and was being flown by Endeavor Air, landed on runway 22 at the airport at 8 a.m. and slid into a snow bank as it was moving toward a taxiway. The plane was towed to the gate with passengers on board.
No injuries were reported, and the FAA is investigating.
It’s not just the airports:
But that’s just New York: elsewhere America is gripped in a cold spell which may beat all records, as 140 million Americans are expected to see subzero temperatures in the coming days, including the deep south.
As CNN reports, “The deep freeze gripping much of the country is about to send temperatures plummeting to unbelievable lows. Parts of the Midwest and Great Plains will plunge as low as 30 degrees below zero on Sunday. That’s where the Green Bay Packers will host the San Francisco 49ers in what could be the coldest football game in NFL history. By Wednesday, nearly half the nation — 140 million people — will shudder in temperatures of zero or lower, forecasters said. Even the Deep South will endure single-digit or sub-zero temperatures.”
What to expect around the country:
As if the 30-below-zero temperatures weren’t frigid enough, the wind chill in much of Midwest and Great Plains could drop to minus 50, the National Weather Service said. And that’s on top of the moderate to heavy snow possible over the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley on Sunday.
“Brutal conditions will continue pushing southeastward to the Ohio Valley and Mid-South by Monday, and to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic by Tuesday,” the weather agency said. “Afternoon highs on Monday for parts of the Midwest states and the Ohio Valley will fail to reach zero degrees.”
But nobody will have it worse than some 70,000 Green Bay Packers fans who may see frigid conditions as bad as -40 with the wind chill:
More than 70,000 hardcore Packers fans hoping to see their team get closer to the Super Bowl will have their loyalty tested Sunday as they endure temperatures as low as 15-below-zero in Green Bay, Wisconsin. With the wind, the air could feel as cold as minus-30 to minus-40 degrees to the sold-out crowd.
The Packers will give free hand warmers, hot chocolate and coffee to the fans braving the cold on Sunday, spokesman Aaron Popkey said.
In Embarrass, Minnesota, residents wondered whether they might see their record-cold temperature of 64 below zero, set in 1996, snap like an icicle.
“I’ve got a thermometer from the weather service that goes to 100 below,” resident Roland Fowlei told CNN affiliate KQDS. “If it gets that cold, I don’t want to be here.”
Even the Deep South won’t be spared:
The arctic blast threatens to sweep subzero lows as far south as Alabama and plunge much of the Deep South into the single digits.
To put things in perspective, the weather in Atlanta on Monday will be colder than in Anchorage, Alaska, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.
Freezing rain is also possible along the Appalachians all the way up to New England over the next couple of days, the National Weather Service said.
The low temperatures and wind chill are a dangerous recipe for rapid frostbite or hypothermia.
“Exposed flesh can freeze in as little as five minutes with wind chills colder than 50 below,” the National Weather Service’s Twin Cities office in Minnesota said. Forecasters there warned of “the coldest air in two decades.
Over the past week, at least 13 people have died from weather-related conditions.
Eleven people died in road accidents — including one man crushed as he was moving street salt with a forklift.
One man in Wisconsin died of hypothermia. And an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease in New York state wandered away from her home and was found dead in the snow in a wooded area about 100 yards away.
Finally, those who can avoid to travel should do so:
The already dreadful stream of stranded passengers and canceled flights will only get worse.
FlightAware.com, which tracks cancellations due to both weather and mechanical problems, said more than 1,500 flights have been canceled for Sunday. That’s after 4,500 flights were called off on Friday and Saturday.
In Chicago, a plane headed to Las Vegas slid off the taxiway at O’Hare International Airport on Saturday night. None of the passengers on Spirit Flight 245 were injured, an airlines spokeswoman said.
But with the Windy City inundated by snow, O’Hare will have more troubles Sunday. About 1,000 inbound or outbound flights have already been canceled, according to FlightAware.com.
And some photos from the frozen country:
Basketball fans brave the cold and snow as they cross to the United Center in Chicago on Saturday, January 4.
People go sledding in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday, January 4.
Snow is piled high in front of a Home Depot in Boston on January 4 after a two-day winter storm.
Michael Stanton walks between houses covered with ice in the shore town of Scituate, Massachusetts, on Friday, January 3.
Frost covers the windows at the Morning Glory natural food store where a customer wearing a mask braves 0-degree Fahrenheit temperatures to shop in Brunswick, Maine, on January 3.
Surfers make their way through snow on New York’s Rockaway Beach on January 3.
A man walks down a snowy road along the shore in Scituate, Massachusetts, on January 3.
People play in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, on January 3.