Sharon Mollerus/Flickr
Winter storm in Minneapolis. (Sharon Mollerus/Flickr)

Extreme Cold in Midwest

Weather is the coldest in 20 years.

Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

A polar vortex has descended upon the northern and central U.S., bringing sub-zero temperatures, “life-threatening wind chill,” and the coldest weather felt in decades. Twenty-six cities are under wind-chill warnings or watches. Chicago and Minneapolis will record temperatures of 20 to 30 below. In North Dakota, wind chills were as low as negative 50 degrees.

  • School is closed in the entire state of Minnesota, as well as in districts in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. Even though today is a snow day, some ski areas, sledding hills, and ice rinks in Minnesota and Ohio are also closed until Tuesday.

  • Frostbite could set into exposed skin in as little as five minutes. (See also: The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death.)

  • Green Bay Packers fans at Sunday’s Packers-49ers game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, were grilling frozen beers, to thaw them back to a liquid state.

  • In Indianapolis, driving is illegal unless there is an emergency or you are seeking shelter.

  •  In Chicago, windows are completely frozen, and some car windows have ice on the inside.

  • Hundreds of apartment dwellers in Rogers, Minnesota, were evacuated Sunday morning when a propane heating system exploded from the cold.

  • Rock salt is is ineffective for thawing ice on roads. Several roadways in Illinois are now closed due to drifting snow.

See also: Jim Cantore: the World’s Most Fearless Meteorologist 

Are you affected by the polar vortex? Post how cold it is for you in the comments. 

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Sharon Mollerus/Flickr