Multiple cities in the United States experienced record-breaking winter temperatures in the last few days of January including Chicago, Iowa, Indianapolis, and New York. It has been cold enough to risk hypothermia and even frostbite within five minutes of exposure to air.
This is brought upon by the polar vortex, a mass or area of low-temperature air found around the Earth’s poles. A weakened vortex is currently bringing strong gusts of cold air from the Arctics into the northern cities of the US.
The unstable polar vortex is now moving towards the USA’s Great Lakes and, along with the cold gusts of wind, makes the weather feel like -46 to -51 degrees celsius. In the last two days, the lowest temperature recorded in the US was in Morris Camp, Minnesota, which dropped to -54 degrees.
The cold air has been reported to retreat by the first week of February, bringing temperatures back to normal.
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