The polar vortex in the US continued inflicting severe conditions across the country on Thursday, with temperatures reaching minus 40F – and a town in Michigan called Hell quite literally freezing over.
Chicago was on track to break the city’s record of -32C (-26F), set more than 30 years ago as the cold snap intensifies.
Some nearby isolated areas could see temperatures as low as -40C (-40F), that would break the Illinois record of minus 38C (-36.4F) set in 1999.
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Milwaukee had similar conditions. Minneapolis recorded -32C (-26F) while Sioux Falls, South Dakota, saw -31C (-24F).
Wind chills reportedly made it feel like -45C (-49F) or worse.
The blast of polar air that enveloped much of the Midwest on Wednesday closed schools and businesses and strained infrastructure with some of the lowest temperatures in a generation.
The deep freeze snapped rail lines, cancelled hundreds of flights and strained utilities.
Trains and buses in Chicago operated with few passengers as the hardiest commuters ventured out only after covering nearly every square inch of flesh against the extreme chill, which froze ice crystals on eyelashes and eyebrows in minutes.
Crews in Detroit will need days to repair water mains that burst on 30 January, and other pipes can still burst in persistent subzero temperatures.
Temperatures are expected to improve later this week and more people are expected to return to work in the nation’s third largest city.
Meanwhile, cities like Chicago reportedly experienced “frost quakes,” a phenomenon caused by freezing and expanding water under the ground and causes earthquake-like effects.
See The Independent’s live coverage of the polar vortex across the United States on Thursday as it happened below:
Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the weather in the United States.
The sub-zero temperatures in the US have resulted in a town in Michigan called Hell freezing over.
Yes, you read that right.
Hell has frozen over.
It is so cold in Chicago, reports claim that train tracks needed to be set on fire to clear the snow and ice
More than 2,300 flights were canceled and more than 3,500 delayed, most of them out of Chicago’s O’Hare International and Midway International airports, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.com.
General Motors Co said late on Wednesday it would temporarily suspend operations at 11 Michigan plants and its Warren Tech Center after a utility made an emergency appeal to users to conserve natural gas.
The polar vortex sending record-low temperatures across the United States has strained the nation’s infrastructure, suspended the US postal service — along with thousands of flights — and caused a rising death toll.
Though the polar vortex is making for harrowing conditions across the United States, not everything about the system is completely bleak.
National weather reporter Jonathan Petramala posted this beautiful video landscape of the sun rising over Lake Michigan during the weather phenomenon.
2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has tweeted the following message about the polar vortex:
“Extreme temperatures. Monster storms. Donald Trump & the GOP might not believe in science, but I do. We need to make fundamental changes to stop climate change – like passing a Green New Deal in Congress – and save our planet.”
The tweet arrives after Donald Trump joked about the cold temperatures in a tweet refuting the scientific validity of global warming.
The National Weather Service is warning over below average temperatures across “the Upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, into parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic.”
Eight deaths have reportedly been linked to the polar vortex striking the US.
The deaths include an elderly Illinois man who was found several hours after he fell trying to get into his home and a University of Iowa student found behind an academic hall several hours before dawn. Elsewhere, a man was struck by a snowplow in the Chicago area, a young couple’s SUV struck another on a snowy road in northern Indiana and a Milwaukee man froze to death in a garage, authorities said.
Despite Donald Trump’s suggestions, the polar vortex does not refute the fact that climate change is taking place.
Here’s an example, showcasing how the month of January has featured unusually high temperatures across the country.
The Midwest isn’t the only region of the United States facing potential snow this week.
The Weather Channel reports of a new storm churning towards California that’s expected to bring feet of snow towards the state’s mountain regions.
The polar temperatures may be insufferable to most Americans, but at least two polar bears at the Chicago zoo are reportedly having a great time.
Daily Beast reports the two are enjoying the historically cold temperatures and snow — right in the midst of mating season.
A town named Hell, Michigan has quite literally frozen over as the polar vortex sends record-low temperatures across the country.
Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens in the teeth of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds.
Cargill Inc closed all its grain plants in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday because of extreme cold – and will likely reopen them on Thursday after temperatures warm, company spokeswoman April Nelson said.
Tyson Foods Inc cancelled two shifts at a pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, while Hormel Foods Corp halted the hog slaughter at its processor in Austin, Minnesota, according to three people familiar with the operations.
Many of the videos Chicagoans are uploading online show how residents are experimenting with record-low temperatures in the nation’s third-largest city.
Some are blowing bubbles that immediately freeze into ice, while others are capturing sweeping panoramics of the city’s frozen views.
At one point on Thursday morning, the majority of mainland United States was below 0C (32F).
Meanwhile, as many as 25m Americans throughout the country will see temperatures in their region dip to —28C (20F).
Photos from across the country show the arctic conditions much of the US is facing as a polar vortex strikes the nation.
Below, the BBC shared photos from Buffalo, New York yesterday, where snowfall inundated the region.
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