Minnesota shivers as wind chill nears 50 below zero

Posted: 01/21/13 at 10:20 am EST      Last Updated: 01/21/13 at 12:54 pm EST

Icy winds and bitter cold lashed the Midwest as a powerful storm made its way eastward and left New England preparing for up to a foot of snow.

Pushed by northwesterly winds, Arctic air was bringing wind chills near to minus 50 in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Highs were expected to remain below zero into Tuesday, according to forecasters.

In Detroit, about 40,000 customers were without power early Monday. Utility DTE Energy blamed high winds for knocking out power Sunday to 120,000 customers.

DTE said it was receiving assistance from crews based in neighboring Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as outlying parts of Michigan.

"We expect to have the vast majority of our customers restored by midnight Monday," DTE said in a statement.

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In Illinois, temperatures dipped into the single digits, with wind chills well below zero, NBCChicago.com reported. NBC Chicago meteorologist Cheryl Scott said wind chills could hover around 15 below zero, which would be the city's coldest weather in two years.

The National Weather Service issued lake-effect-snow warnings from western Michigan to western New York, and a winter storm watch for Boston and the surrounding area.

In Boston, forecasters predicted 4 to 8 inches of snow, poor visibility and slippery travel Monday evening as well as a difficult commute Tuesday morning.

Some high spots in northeast Massachusetts, eastern New Hampshire and southwest Maine could approach 12 inches of snow, The Weather Channel reported.

A hazardous-weather outlook reached into New Hampshire and Connecticut. Gale warnings were issued for much of the New England coast.

A so-called Alberta Clipper could bring as much as three inches of snow to parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey Monday afternoon and early evening.

However, Weather.com said there was "a small chance" that the Alberta Clipper could strengthen closer to the New Jersey coast, which would bring heavier snow to New York City, Long Island and New Jersey.

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