'Dangerously cold' wind chills threaten millions from Great Lakes to New England

NOW: ’Dangerously cold’ wind chills threaten millions from Great Lakes to New England

By Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) -- High winds are making already frigid temperatures even more miserable across the Northeast and Midwest on Saturday.

State officials are urging residents to limit the time spent outdoors saying it's "dangerously cold" and warned them of blowing snow.

Cities like Minneapolis and Boston are set to reach below zero degrees Saturday and with low wind chills, some areas could feel as low as minus 40 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

"The snow is done but the cold temperatures are here to stay for the foreseeable future," CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

The powerful Nor'easter or "bomb cyclone" that left the parts of the US resembling an icy tundra is to blame for this weekend's dangerously cold weather.

It dumped more than a foot of snow across eight states, deluged streets in Massachusetts with icy water and is now bringing extremely strong northwest winds and frigid arctic air to the US.

Over 110 million people are under a wind chill warning or advisory stretching from the Great Lakes to New England on Saturday, CNN meteorologists said.

Forecasters say the brutal cold will make Saturday the coldest day of the weekend before a gradual warm trend begins Sunday making temperatures rise.

What is wind chill?

It's the perceived temperature that people and animals feel when exposed to the elements. Or as forecasters say, it's the "feels like" temperature.

"As wind increases in speed, it increases the rate of heat loss on your body making you feel colder than it actually is," Van Dam said.

Wind chill is calculated by the rate the body loses heat due to speed winds and cold temperatures.

Saturday's cold snap has been called dangerous because it will make it easier for people to experience hypothermia and frostbite.

If the wind chills range from 15 to 25 degrees below zero as expected in much of western and northern Pennsylvania on Saturday, the onset of frostbite can take as little as 10 minutes.

And when the wind chill registers below minus 50 it would take only five minutes for exposed skin to develop frostbite.

Track severe weather across the country

Deadly conditions

At least 19 people have died this week because of severe weather, officials said.

Six deaths were reported in Wisconsin, four in Texas, three in North Carolina, and one each in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia.

Among the dead was a 64-year-old man who died of hypothermia in Akron, Ohio. A Meals on Wheels driver found his body lying in front of his wheelchair on the porch of the man's home.

In South Carolina, a man was killed after his pickup slid on icy roads, hitting a median and several trees, according to the Kershaw County Coroner.

Emerging from the storm

The storm heaped plenty of misery across New England. Waves from the sea washed into Boston streets. And the tide in the city -- 15.16 feet -- broke the record set during the blizzard of 1978, the National Weather Service said.

The storm flooded streets in some communities in coastal Massachusetts, turning roads into slushy rivers. Firefighters and the National Guard had scrambled to rescue dozens of coastal residents stranded by freezing water pushing from the Atlantic. First responders braved the frigid waters using rubber rescue boats and high-water vehicles.

On Friday, areas were freezing over.

"We'll use a big pump (to) move some of the ice around, but we really have to wait for the weather to warm up," said Rob Reardon, captain of the fire department in Duxbury, about 35 miles southeast of Boston.

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