Roundup: Record cold in America's Colorado, West eases.
DENVER (CyHAN)- by Peter Mertz
A massive cold front from Alaska, dropping temperatures below freezing for five straight days in America's West and breaking records in Colorado, Wyoming and Texas, is finally easing, according to AccuWeather.
The frigid week ended with Friday's high at Denver International Airport at 33 Fahrenheit degrees (0.6 degrees Celsius) just before 1 p.m., the Pennsylvania-based weather forecaster said.
"It's been so cold here we don't want to go outdoors," said 35-year-old construction worker Miguel Mendoza, adding "It caught us unprepared."
The Mile High City set two new records: a low of minus 14 Fahrenheit degrees (minus 25.6 degree Celsius) and a new low high of 11 Fahrenheit degrees (minus 11.7 degree Celsius) on Nov. 13, breaking marks previously set in 1916 and 1959, respectively.
The all time low temperatures in Denver caused homeless shelters to overfill and has caused fluctuations in the U.S economy, most notably the commodities market in the Mid West.
An explosion at a fracking site north of Denver Thursday killed one worker and seriously injured two others as they tried to thaw a frozen, high-pressure water line, local fire officials said.
Plummeting temperatures caused a big rally in the U.S. wheat market, with Kansas City wheat crop hitting a two-month high, trading Friday at 6.15 dollars per bushel.
Exceptionally cold temperatures, especially in the early season, can cause rapid movements in a number of markets when plants are damaged, livestock's health and appetite are hurt, and trucks, trains, and barges might be delayed, according to the Michigan-based Traverse-City Record on Friday.
To survive cold winter temperatures, wheat needs an early blanket of snow to insulate and protect the immature plants, the Record said, noting that some wheat farmers in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming left their crops exposed due to temperatures dropping rapidly without snowfall.
Live cattle prices made new highs Friday morning as traders bought cattle out of concern that the deep freeze across the Great Plains would cut beef production.
When temperatures drop, animals need to expend more energy to keep them warm and eat more food, but gain less weight, experts say.
Cold temperatures also hamper transportation of cattle, and the killing process, which reduces market-ready meat, the Record noted. As a result of the frigid weather, live cattle prices made new contract highs Friday morning, pushing over 1.7 dollars per pound.
The National Weather Service predicts a 70 percent chance of snow Saturday and warmer weather next week. Sunny skies are predicted Sunday and Monday with highs in the low 30s. Overnight lows this weekend are forecast to be in the single digits. (Cihan/Xinhua)
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