Bitter cold and snow brings white Christmas to many Americans

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Many residents of and visitors to the Northeast and Midwest experienced a white Christmas this year after a blizzard blew into parts of New England and bitter cold blanketed much of the Midwest.

Even the Pacific Northwest received a fabled white Christmas, with downtown Portland getting a measurable snowfall for only the sixth time since 1884 on Dec. 25, according to the National Weather Service.

Areas of Maine and New Hampshire were under a blizzard warning Monday, with predictions of snow up to 10 inches and wind gusts up to 50 mph, which could make travel “dangerous to impossible.”

The National Weather Service predicted that wind chill temperatures in states from Montana and the Dakotas to Wisconsin could reach 40 below zero and that the upper half of Iowa and northern Illinois should expect subzero temperatures.

According to The Associated Press, Minnesota saw its coldest Christmas Day since 1996, with recorded wind chills as low as 35 degrees below zero, conditions which could cause frostbite in as little as 15 minutes.

The blizzard in New England brought unwelcome power outages to more than 20,000 customers in eastern Massachusetts, most of which were on Cape Cod where winds were strongest, Eversource reported.

Up to 8 inches of snow was forecast in New England, with strong winds gusting up to 65 mph predicted in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Beginning Saturday, over a foot of snow fell on mountain areas in parts of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, good news for ski resorts which have experienced a sluggish start to the season. However, the large amount of snow triggered a heightened warning of avalanches in higher elevations.

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