The week, the majority of the United States will experience a deep freeze thanks to a Polar Vortex, which will bring a wave of cold air that normally spins in the atmosphere over the North Pole down into the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, a looming snowstorm is about to cause chaos for the deep South. Approximately one quarter of the country will wake up to sub-zero temperatures, and Wednesday might bring about literally the coldest day on record in Chicago, with a projected “high” of 14 below zero.
The National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa issued a chilling warning to residents (no pun intended) that the weather will be “the coldest air many of us will have ever experienced” and for people to “avoid taking deep breaths, and minimize talking,” while outdoors.
Temperatures in the Upper Midwest had already dipped below zero ahead of the Polar Vortex on Sunday morning, with International Falls, Minnesota breaking a half-century-long record at 45-below zero, but apparently, that’s just the tip of the iceberg (okay, pun maybe intended).
“Some locations in the Midwest will be below zero continuously for 48-72 hours,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Doll.
But the worst is yet to come, Doll said. “I cannot stress how dangerously cold it will be,” he said. “An entire generation has gone by without experiencing this type of cold.”
The area from North Dakota to northern Illinois will likely be hit with the hardest cold, with plunging temperatures that can cause frostbite “in mere minutes.”