Polar Vortex Disrupts life in Midwest US
Wisconsin: A blast of arctic-chilled air from the polar vortex brought dangerous, record-setting cold to a wide swath of the eastern US on Wednesday.
The temperatures plummeted well below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8C). Regional governments closed hundreds of schools and airlines cancelled more than 1,000 flights, including many to Atlanta days before the Super Bowl.
The Midwest will be the hardest-hit area, with a life-threatening wind chill bringing temperatures down as low as minus 50F (minus 46C) in the Chicago area and northern Illinois by Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.
“This storm poses a serious threat to the wellbeing of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe,” said the Illinois governor, JB Pritzker, in a statement on Tuesday.
As much as 2ft of snow was forecast in Wisconsin, and 6in in Illinois. Parts of north and central Georgia may see 2in or more of snow in the coming days, along with freezing rain and ice-slicked highways.
The brutal chill was caused by the polar vortex, a mass of freezing air that normally spins around the North Pole but has made its way south into the Midwest United States.
The Midwestern United States (or Midwest) is a name for the north-central states of the United States of America. The states that are part of the Midwest are: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.