Winter storms bring possible record-breaking Arctic cold, snow to Midwest and Northeast

A long weekend of ferocious winter weather loomed across the U.S. on Saturday, as a continuing wave of Arctic storms threatened to break low-temperature records in the nation’s heartland, spread cold and snow from coast to coast and cast a chill over everything ranging from football playoffs to presidential campaigns.

As the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend began, the weather forecast for the U.S. was a crazy quilt of color-coded advisories, from an ice storm warning in Oregon to a blizzard warning in the northern Plains, high wind warnings in New Mexico and flood warnings in the mid-Atlantic.

Fallout from the storm included a 100-vehicle stall on Interstate 80 in Iowa, after semitrailers jackknifed on the slippery roadway and blocked traffic. Some cars were stuck in the same spot for five hours as blowing snow encircled the vehicles. Tow trucks had to be brought in to get them off the roadway.