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Cold snap felt across Rockies, Midwest

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 4, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.

HELENA, Mont. — A wintry storm pushing through the Rockies and Midwest is delivering bitterly cold temperatures and treacherous driving conditions blamed in at least six deaths as it threatens crops as far south as California.

The wind chill could drop to 30 degrees below zero in parts of Montana on Wednesday while wind chills of minus 20 have already been recorded in the Nebraska panhandle. Low temperatures in the Denver area were expected to drop below zero over the next several days.

The jet stream is much farther south than normal, allowing the cold air to push in from the Arctic and drop temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees below normal levels, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said.

Areas of Montana and the Dakotas were forecast to reach lows in the minus-20s, while Laramie, Wyo., is expected to see a low temperature of 28 below. The icy arctic blast was expected to be followed by another one later in the week, creating an extended period of cold weather that hasn't been seen since the late 1990s, meteorologists said.

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