Half of U.S. Frozen Again by Arctic Front

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Another arctic blast is freezing residents in almost half of the United States. The polar vortex, a system of winds that normally circulates around the North Pole, has pushed much further south, clear to the Gulf Coast.

It's creating havoc for students, parents, motorists, and just about everyone.

In northern states such as North Dakota, drifting snow combined with wind chills as low as 60 degrees below zero to make life miserable.

What's behind all the cold weather? TV Meteorologist Joe Bastardi talks about this and more following the latest forecast, on CBN Newstwatch, Jan. 27.

"You were lucky if you could see 10 to 15 feet in front of your car," one trucker said.

Another driver made it through white-out conditions, which persuaded him to head indoors.

"There was a Jeep Cherokee parked in the middle of the travel portion of the road because they got scared of the white-out," he said.

Near Warren, Mich., snow and ice caused a major multi-car pileup.

This time of year in coastal Virginia, residents can usually expect a day or two of temperatures in the 70s. But as of Monday, the snow hadn't even completely disappeared from last week's storm before forecasters warned of more snow accumulations and plunging temperatures for the early part of the week.

Meteorologists have also posted winter storm alerts for the Deep South, extending all the way from Houston, Texas, to Raleigh, N.C.

Wave after wave of arctic air has not only taxed people's patience, it has depleted resources that are supposed to last all winter.

Waukesha Town Chairman John Marek, in Wisconsin, said his city has used its entire allocation of road-treating salt for the 2013-2014 season.

Energy experts estimate the average U.S. household will pay nearly $1,000 in heating costs this winter, 10 percent above a normal year.

If the polar weather persists, those numbers could go higher.

Still, not everyone is complaining. In Columbus, Ohio, neighbors were helping each other with snow removal, and some children fought cabin fever by grabbing a shovel.

And conditions weren't ideal for the Downeast Musher's Bowl, a two-day dog-sled event in Bridgton, Maine. But the dogs seemed to enjoy it anyway. Twenty-four teams from the Northeast and Canada competed in bright sunshine and bitter cold.

Some races were still canceled due to ice and lack of snow. The race is a tradition that goes back to the 1940s.

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

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