Baby, it’s still cold outside. Can I borrow some propane?

Baby it's still cold outside Can I borrow some propane

(CNN) — Extreme winter weather continues to engulf parts of the Midwest and Northeast while the Southeast braces for another round of cold temperatures next week.

The cold winter is worsening a propane shortage that affects 12 million Americans who use the fuel to heat their homes.

A blizzard watch is in effect for North Dakota, parts of northeast South Dakota, western Minnesota and parts of central Iowa, where forecasts call for 2 to 6 inches of snow through Sunday and possible wind gusts of 60 mph.

Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky are under a winter weather advisory trough Saturday evening with snowfall of up to 4 inches expected there.

Chicago could see a high of minus-5 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday and minus-3 Tuesday.

Three cities have already set snowfall records for January: Detroit (31.5 inches), Flint, Michigan, (29.5 inches) and Toledo (36.4 inches). Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Indianapolis are experiencing their second snowiest January on record.

Jeffrey Goodman of Mentor, Ohio, snapped a photo of ice crystals for CNN iReport.

“It gets cold in northeast Ohio, but it’s been awhile since we have had this many days of temperatures in the single digits,’ he said.

Western Pennsylvania and parts of New York will see up to 5 inches of snow through Saturday evening with wind gust near 35 mph.

In the Southeast, light snow could fall across the Appalachian mountains Saturday, but the rest of the region will see slightly above average temperatures before a more arctic air moves into the region Monday evening.

New Orleans will see a high near 63 degrees Sunday, but by Tuesday residents there will have to prepare for highs only in the upper 30s.

In Atlanta, temperatures are expected to drop into the low 20s Monday night and the low teens Tuesday night.

Two dozen states have declared energy emergencies this winter, partly because propane supplies are running short while prices have risen sharply.

Supplies are short because of increased demand due to the cold weather and increased usage by corn farmers last fall who used it to dry a bumper crop of corn.

Some states, including Wisconsin, are allowing drivers of propane trucks to drive longer hours and increase the amount of propane carried in a single trip.

The shortage is especially acute for those who depend on propane to heat their homes during an extremely cold winter. Sandy DeHorn of Crete, Illinois, said the price per gallon recently rose to $5 from $2.69 per gallon.

“People are going to lose their houses,” DeHorn told CNN. “You have a choice, you either pay for the propane or for a house to live in. What are you going to do?”

But it’s not cold and snowing everywhere.

Mono Lake, in California’s eastern Sierra, is going through its third straight year of drought, causing lake levels to drop.

“Normally the surrounding mountains would be covered in snow, right now they are bare,” Cat Connor wrote on iReport. “Mono Lake does get snow at times through the winter as well. … The water level does fluctuate but I can not remember seeing it this low before.”

By Susanna Capelouto and Ralph Ellis

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