As Polar Vortex Freezes US, Satellite Track It from Space

As Polar Vortex Freezes US, Satellite Track It from Space

Overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, it dropped to -29C in Minneapolis. The wind chill is -54.

People in the U.S. and Canada should avoid talking and taking deep breaths when outside during the treacherous winter conditions, the National Weather Service has warned.

Grand Rapids is the heart of the coldest part of Minnesota, and one of the coldest inhabited places in the continental United States. Wind chills in other areas of the Maritimes will make it feel into the minus teens and 20s at times Thursday through Sunday.

And the sub-zero cold and bitter winds will stick around for a couple of days, possibly bringing dozens of record lows with a life-threatening freeze before dissipating by the weekend, the National Weather Service reported (NWS). That's right, weather conditions could be more frigid than Antarctica. "But we will never force someone", police officer Michael Carroll said. "But you can get frostbite within four or five minutes". Multiple airlines, including United and Southwest, have canceled flights at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

Flight cancelations piled up throughout the country - more than 2,600 by late afternoon, stranding travelers such as Brandon Robinson who spent extra days in a downtown Chicago hotel. Those wearing Canada Goose jackets, which can cost as much as £900 ($1,100), have been targeted, local media report.

Nearly 2,000 flights were canceled early Wednesday, largely out of Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway worldwide airports, the flight tracking site FlightAware.

"The Midwest and Great Lakes are well into this Arctic blast, with dangerously low wind chills widespread across the region this morning", meteorologist Janice Dean announced this week on "Fox and Friends".

With officials in IL and the Northern states advising residents to stay indoors, dashcam footage from one trucker taken outside Grand Rapids, Michigan gave a snapshot of hair-raising driving conditions.

Postal services have been suspended in some areas of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin as well as parts of Kansas, Montana and Nebraska because it's simply too cold for postal workers to be out and about.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, Charley Lampley died after shoveling snow at in his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In Detroit, a 70-year-old man was found dead on Wednesday on a residential street, a Detroit police spokesman said. A Ligonier, Indiana, police officer and his wife were killed Monday after they lost control of their auto on a snow-covered road, and a man was struck and killed by a plow truck in Libertyville, Illinois.

Authorities and health experts warned of frostbite and hypothermia. Even colder temperatures were expected on Thursday.

Hundreds of warming centres were opened for vulnerable residents such as seniors, buses were employed as mobile warming spaces, and shelter capacities were increased for the homeless, including the approximately 16,000 living on the streets of Chicago.

"We have opened two additional 24-hour warming centers, our Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie, and our King Community Center at 4341 South Cottage will each be open 24 hours a day", Chicago Commissioner of Family and Support Services Liza Morrison-Butler announced Monday.

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