As snow continues to pile up in Erie, Pa., which already has nearly 160 centimetres on the ground, forecasters warn of frigid, sub-zero arctic air and dangerously cold wind chills in much of the U.S.

A storm brought 86 centimetres of snow Erie on Christmas Day, an all-time daily snowfall record for the city, and another 62 cm by Tuesday night. More than 159.8 cm have fallen on Erie since Dec. 23, with an additional five to 10 cm predicted Wednesday. The National Weather Service says it’s the highest two-day snowfall total ever in the state.

Severe Weather Pennsylvania

Erie residents on East 24th Street dig out on Tuesday after a record two-day snowfall. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News/Associated Press)

The City of Erie issued a snow emergency, citing “dangerous and impassable” roads, and asked residents to stay off the streets. Pennsylvania state police and the state Department of Transportation are urging people to avoid travel, citing poor visibility and deteriorating conditions.

Erie County executive Kathy Dahlkemper declared a disaster emergency to allow “needed resources to be obtained.”

Wind chill advisories or warnings are in effect for all of North Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as swaths of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.

Wind chill advisories were also in effect for parts of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Meteorologists warn frostbite is possible with as little as 30 minutes of exposure.

APTOPIX Severe Weather Pennsylvania

Rochelle Carlotti, 28, shovels steps near her home in Erie after Tuesday’s record snowfall. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News/Associated Press)