Portland — United States President Donald Trump says the East Coast could use some "good old Global Warming" as bitter-cold temperatures freeze large swaths of the county and are expected to continue this holiday weekend.
Trump tweets, "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record."
He adds, "Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against."
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Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about climate change science, calling global warming a "hoax" created by the Chinese. This year he announced his intention to pull out of the Paris climate agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gases.
The United Nations' climate agency says 2017 is on track to be the hottest year on record aside from those impacted by the El Nino phenomenon.
Cold snap grips US
Bitter cold weather has taken hold of much of the northern United States and is expected to remain for days to come.
Forecasters are warning of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over the central US and spreading east.
The National Weather Service reports International Falls and Hibbing, Minnesota, set record low temperatures on Wednesday, 27 December. International Falls, the self-proclaimed Icebox of the Nation, plunged to 37 degrees below zero, while Hibbing bottomed out at 28 below.
The freezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills come as people in Erie, Pennsylvania, continue to dig out from a storm that has dumped more than 65 inches on the city. Meanwhile, wind chill advisories or warnings are in effect for much of New England, northern Pennsylvania and New York.
The temperature at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire on Thursday, 28 December, was -37 degrees Celsius, breaking a 1933 record of -35 degrees Celsius atop the Northeast's highest peak.
The observatory has posted a Facebook video showing weather observer Adam Gill emptying a pitcher of boiling water into the air, where it immediately turns to snow in the cold and hurricane-force winds. Check it out:
Meanwhile, a dog has been found frozen solid on an Ohio home's porch due to the cold snap. Toledo humane society cruelty investigator Megan Brown tells The Blade newspaper she doesn't know how long the dog was outside on Thursday when Toledo's high temperature was expected to be -11 to -7 degrees Celsius. A second dog was recovered shivering inside the home.
The dogs' owner says utilities had been shut off but he had been providing for the dogs while living elsewhere. He says he doesn't know how one dog got outside.
The snow was followed by a cold snap that is canceling events and leading officials to scramble across the northern tier of the US to find help for the homeless. Cleveland officials say four recreation centers will remain open as warming centers at least until Saturday.
A "polar bear plunge" in New Jersey in which hardy swimmers planned to jump into the Atlantic Ocean was canceled because of the cold. But similar events in other nearby towns stayed on the books.
The US Department of Energy has projected energy fuel costs are going to track upward. That falls on the heels of two winters when costs were relatively low.
Mark Wolfe, an official with the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association, says the good news is that Trump has released 90% of the energy assistance funding. Trump previously tried to eliminate the program altogether.
Wolfe says he is urging lawmakers to press to release the rest of the money.
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