US temperatures set to plummet to record lows

Parts of America and Canada are experiencing near record-breaking low temperatures from a severe winter storm that has claimed at least 16 lives.

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New York covered in snow and bracing for more

Pictures of New York City in the grip of the snow storm plaguing north-east America have emerged as the metropolis braces for a "polar vortex".

City leaders declared a state of emergency as a snow storm dubbed "Hercules" sweeps across the north east of America.

Storm Hercules dumped 21 inches of snow on Boxford, just north of Boston, by Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

NFL fans brave plunging temperatures in Wisconsin

Fans of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers risked frostbite in the US state of Wisconsin weather to watch a game amid the lowest temperatures in two decades.

Packers fans bundled up for the cold weather Credit: Reuters

Packers fans dressed in multiple layers of their team's green and gold uniforms were undaunted by a forecast for temperatures, with some bringing along barbecues and bottles of beer.

Fans share a beer in Wisconsin Credit: Reuters

Officials at the stadium promised fans two free hot cocoa or coffee drinks during the game, sports network ESPN reported.

Fans have a barbecue amid some of the lowest temperatures in decades Credit: Reuters

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Fear for life as US braces for -50C 'polar vortex'

Icy air and gusting winds are expected to bring temperatures down as low as -50C in parts of the US with forecasters warning the Arctic grip could be life threatening.

The "polar vortex" - a rotating pool of cold, dense air - has brought the coldest weather in 20 years to the Mid-West.

ITV News' Lewis Vaughan-Jones reports from a nation bracing itself for the bitterest of weather:

US Midwest to feel the worst of an arctic blast

Many parts of the US Midwest braced for a blast of Arctic air this weekend that could bring some of the coldest temperatures in two decades before advancing to the Northeast, where residents are still digging out from a deadly snowstorm.

Four homeless men warm themselves on a steam grate. Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The deep freeze will be felt in the northern US plains, including North and South Dakota, and through the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

It will be some of the coldest weather to grip the region in two decades, with blizzard conditions expected in the Central Plains and Great Lakes regions, forecasters said.

At least 16 deaths blamed on US winter storm

At least 16 deaths have been blamed on a winter storm that dumped nearly 2ft of snow in parts of north-east America.

A driver works to dig a car out of the snow during a winter storm in Boston. Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Light, fluffy snow meant an easier time digging out than it might have been and the storm caused just a few thousand power cuts. But the bone-chilling cold could mean a risk of frostbite for anyone who spends more than a few minutes outside.

Wind chills around New England were reported as low as minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit and forecasters warn it could be just as bad today.

Temperatures in the north east are expected to rise above freezing this weekend before the arrival of another blast of frigid air already affecting the Midwest.

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North east US digs its way out of heavy snow

People across the northeastern United States had to dig their way out of a heavy snowfall that grounded flights, closed schools and government offices, caused at least three deaths and left the region in the grip of dangerously low temperatures.

Boston was hard-hit by the first major winter storm of 2014, getting nearly 18 inches (45 cm) of snow, while some towns north of New England's largest city saw close to 2 feet (60 cm) of accumulation.

Major cities from Washington, D.C., to Portland, Maine, were slammed, with New York's Manhattan island getting 6 inches (15 cm) of snow and parts of the borough of Queens seeing more than 10 inches (26 cm) of fresh powder.

Snow blankets north-eastern US after storm

A man photographs the Korean War Veterans Memorial after a heavy snow storm in Washington. Credit: Reuters

A heavy snowstorm and dangerously cold conditions gripped the north-eastern United States leading to delaying flights, paralysing road travel and closing schools and government offices across the region.

Travellers leave the Back Bay train and subway station in Boston. Credit: Reuters

Massachusetts was hard-hit by the first major winter storm of 2014, getting nearly 14 inches of snow (35 cm), while some towns north of Boston saw close to two feet (60 cm).

An American Airlines crew member sprays de-icing solution on a plane. Credit: Reuters
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