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A relentless surge of cold weather is slamming nearly every country in the Northern Hemisphere, disrupting travel, threatening crops and driving energy and commodity prices higher as investors look for ways to cash in.
In the United States, crude oil is trading near a 14-month high. Natural gas and heating oil prices have also surged, as the U.S. shivered under the onslaught of an arctic express that sent temperatures plummeting below zero across two-thirds of the country. Even Florida growers try to protect orange groves from overnight freezing temperatures.
The cold snap is one of the nation's most widespread since January 1985, according to meteorologists at Accuweather.com. While the cold is expected to ease slightly starting Thursday, this winter is on track to be one of the coldest in the past two decades, Ken Reeves, director of forecasting operations at Accuweather told The Wall Street Journal.