Killer vortex: Dangerous 'life-threatening' subzero temperatures that can kill in minutes are set to strike the Midwest and Northeast this week with over a foot of snow forecast in some parts

Killer vortex: Dangerous 'life-threatening' subzero temperatures that can kill in minutes are set to strike the Midwest and Northeast this week with over a foot of snow forecast in some parts

  • Heavy snow and life-threatening subzero temperatures set to strike the U.S. Midwest and Northeast this week
  • Polar vortex is forecast to bring a dangerous cold outbreak that will put millions at risk of hypothermia and frostbite within minutes of venturing outside
  • National Weather Service says plunging temperatures will be 'life threatening'
  • Wind chills could dip to -55 degrees in northern Illinois and -30 degrees in Minnesota on Wednesday 
  • The cold weather will follow blizzard-like conditions in the Midwest with up to 14 inches of snow expected in Wisconsin and Minnesota                                                                                               

Heavy snow and life-threatening subzero temperatures are set to strike the U.S. Midwest and Northeast this week as a polar vortex is forecast to bring a dangerous cold outbreak that could kill within minutes.
Forecasters are warning that the dangerously cold weather will closely follow the blizzard-like conditions that are currently slamming parts of the Midwest and will bring frigidly low temperatures that the region hasn't seen in a quarter century.
The plunging temperatures expected from Tuesday have forecasters especially concerned with the National Weather Service calling them 'possibly life threatening'.
Wednesday is expected to be the worst.
Wind chills could dip to negative 55 degrees in northern Illinois.

In Minnesota, temperatures on Wednesday could fall to 30 degrees below zero but feel as cold as 60 below because of the wind chill.
'That's quite dangerous. You're talking about frostbite and hypothermia issues very quickly, like in a matter of minutes, maybe seconds,' said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center. 

The potentially record-breaking low temperature forecast in Milwaukee is negative 28 degrees, with a wind chill as low as negative 50. The current record of minus 26 degrees (negative 32 degrees Celsius) was set in 1996.

'That's not just unusual. That's 40 degrees below normal,' Hurley said. 'When you think about it in that sense, that's a big 'whoa.'' 

The polar vortex - the frigid winds that circulate around the North Pole - is expected to extend from the Dakotas through New England. 
The weather, which is expected to be the coldest in years, will put millions at risk of hypothermia and frostbite within minutes. Meteorologists have warned that the cold will be life-threatening for those without an adequate way to stay warm. 

Cold weather advisories are in effect across a broad swath of the central U.S., from North Dakota to Missouri and spanning into Ohio.
Some Midwest locations are slated to fall below zero for between 48-72 hours. 

Homeless shelters were preparing for the onslaught of cold. The Milwaukee Rescue Mission's call volume was 'unusually high,' but there should still be enough beds for people who need them.
'We are being especially vigilant during the night,' the mission's president, Pat Vanderburgh, said. 
'Monitoring our doors, our security are going out on the street, we're partnering individuals that go out proactively looking out for homeless individuals and sharing with them winter clothes and food.'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged residents to check on their neighbors and take safety precautions. He said city agencies are making sure homeless people are in shelters or offered space in warming buses.
Heavy snow and gusting winds were already creating blizzard-like conditions on Monday across parts of the Midwest. 
Hundreds of schools were closed across Michigan as road conditions deteriorated, including Eastern Michigan University. The largest public school districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota also were among those closed, including districts in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul. 
The cold also prompted officials to close some schools in eastern Iowa, while Chicago Public Schools officials said they were monitoring the weather ahead of Wednesday's cold snap. 
Snowplow drivers were having trouble keeping up with conditions in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where up to 14 inches of snow is expected. Chicago-area commuters woke up to heavy snowfall and more than 5 inches of snow already on the ground. 
Snowfall will occur in the Dakotas, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; and in Central Michigan, where a foot or more of snow is expected. Upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire will see less than a foot of snow, and Boston will get less than an inch. 
Blizzard conditions are predicted across parts of the western Ohio Valley and snow is expected Tuesday through Wednesday from the Great Lakes region into New England. 

In Chicago, O'Hare International Airport had about 790 canceled flights Monday morning and about 220 canceled at Midway International Airport. The high temperature forecast at O'Hare on Wednesday is negative 14 degrees (negative 25 degrees Celsius), which would break a record set on Jan. 18, 1994.
In Wisconsin, plow drivers were having a difficult time keeping up with the snow in Sheboygan. Minutes after a plow passed, roads were once again becoming snow covered, according to the Department of Public Works.
Even the fabled 'frozen tundra' of Lambeau Field, home to the NFL's Green Bay Packers, wasn't able to withstand the heavy snow and wind that closed hundreds of businesses, schools and government offices in Wisconsin. The stadium said tours, the Packers Hall of Fame and other related businesses were closed to visitors Monday.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard, directing all state agencies to assist if any emergency response and recovery efforts are needed.

Courthouses and most offices were closed in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Columbia and Washington counties, while more than three dozen flights were canceled early Monday at the Milwaukee area's largest airport, Mitchell International Airport.


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