United States polar vortex 2019: U.S. faces historic low temperatures

The National Weather Service’s chill map as of 11 a.m. on Jan. 29

The jump will be even larger in Rockford, Illinois, a city northwest of Chicago, that awoke Thursday to a record-breaking temperature of negative 30 degrees (negative 34 Celsius). The Arctic air will loosen its grip on the Midwest by Thursday afternoon; temperatures might even approach zero degrees in Chicago and Milwaukee.

The painfully cold weather system holding much of the Midwest in a historic deep freeze sent temperatures plunging to a record low in northern IL on Thursday, but a dramatic swing of as much as 80 degrees is expected by early next week.

The bitter cold is being carried by the polar vortex, an area of low pressure which spins counterclockwise in the stratospheres over the north and south poles.

Many people were urged to stay home, and those who did venture out were advised by the National Weather Service to cover their mouths and protect their lungs from severely cold air by not "taking deep breaths" and keeping talking to a minimum. "They were cold", Deputy Fire Chief David Pendleton said.

Wisconsin and MI have declaried a state of emergency, with many state agencies closed in IL as well.

"It's going to be minus 30 in parts of North Dakota today", Hamrick said.

"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". The condition results in a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. Some died from apparent exposure to the elements, others in weather-related traffic accidents.

Police found a man's body close to his home in Detroit, he did not have any warm winter clothes on.

He was found unresponsive behind a campus building on Wednesday morning, when wind chill temperatures in Iowa City were -46C (-51F), according to local TV station KCCI.

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The weather service warned drivers to allow for extra travel time and "possibly hazardous travel" because of accumulating snow and single-digit temperatures impeding road treatment tactics.

Chicago dropped to a low of around minus 23 (minus 30 Celsius), slightly above the city's lowest-ever reading of minus 27 (minus 32 Celsius) from January 1985.

You know it's cold when the cold tries to get out of the cold and come inside.

. At least three states - Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin - declared an emergency on Wednesday and Thursday. Mail service won't be restored in MI until February 1, officials said.

But some of the lowest temperatures in a generation could still arrive in parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley on Thursday, forecasters warned.

Video footage of the Chicago River shows ice forming on the top, with vapors coming off some sections - giving the appearance that the river is steaming.

Multiple airlines, including United and Southwest, have canceled flights at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

In Detroit, General Motors Co suspended operations at 11 MI plants to cut natural gas consumption.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV also said it had canceled a shift on Thursday at both its Warren Truck and Sterling Heights Assembly plants.

It has been more than 20 years since a similar Arctic blast covered a swath of the Midwest and Northeast, according to the weather service.

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