The United States has started to thaw out after a week of extreme cold weather.
The fast-rising temperature, however, may not be all good news, meteorologists have warned.
They indicated that the thaw may cause a new set of risks, including flooding on streets and in homes, ice jams in lakes, and slippery sidewalks and driveways.
The national lowest temperature was measured at -48.9C in Chicago, Illinois during the cold streak.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the bitterly weather was caused by the influence of the Polar Vortex, which is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the North Pole, which is normally trapped around the pole by strong counter-clockwise winds.
As temperatures rose, schools reopened, businesses resumed, and people came back on the streets that had been empty for days in Chicago.
“I like the warmer weather a lot. I stayed inside when it was cold. It’s wonderful that it’s warmer and I hope it lasts a long time,” said a local resident.
Temperatures are expected to reach 11-12C in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.
This warm weather looks set to be short-lived with a maximum of around -1C on Tuesday, which brings the threat of the thaw turning back to ice.
Source – Al Jazeera