5 Jan 2014

Record low temperatures forecast in Nth America

8:20 pm on 5 January 2014

Record low temperatures are forecast in the midwest and northeast of the United States on Monday.

A warning sign at the World War II memorial in Washington DC.

A warning sign at the World War II memorial in Washington DC. Photo: Getty Images / AFP

Forecasters at the National Weather Centre predict temperatures around minus 23C in Chicago.

Domestic and international flights are cancelled or delayed at John F. Kennedy airport in New York and also in Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

A state of emergency was declared in New York and New Jersey after heavy snow fell on Thursday.

The New York Times said the temperature in Central Park was the same as in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The BBC reports residents were advised on Friday to stay indoors and non-essential state employees in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey were ordered to remain at home.

Some commuter trains in New York city were on a reduced schedule and more than 5000 flights have been cancelled since Wednesday.

Sixteen deaths are blamed on the storm, named Hercules, including a man in Philadelphia who was crushed on Friday by a 30-metre pile of salt being prepared to treat roads.

Eastern Canada is also hit badly: residents in many parts of Newfoundland lost power on Saturday morning.

Temperatures there plunged to minus 15C, but the wind chill reportedly made it feel as cold as minus 35C.

Climatologist David Phillips told the BBC the temperature in Toronto on Friday morning, -24C, was the coldest in nine years.