‘Millions of Americans braced Tuesday for a dangerous polar vortex which began to settle over a broad swath of the United States, threatening to set new records for cold as schools and businesses closed and authorities warned of frostbite. As per reports, Temperatures in almost a dozen states stretching over 1,200 miles from the Dakotas to Ohio were forecast to be the coldest in a generation, if not on record.
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast temperatures between -10 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 to -40 Celsius) by Wednesday, with wind chill making it seem as cold as -65 degrees Fahrenheit in one area of Minnesota.
The culprit was a lobe of arctic air that has broken away from the polar vortex that usually encircles the North Pole.
“A record cold air mass will continue into the central and northern US, spreading to the east coast on Tuesday,” the NWS said.
“Wind chills of -30 to -60 (Fahrenheit) can be expected over portions of the northern Plains and Great Lakes region.”
Michigan and Wisconsin declared statewide emergencies in advance of the frigid temperatures.
Americans were heeding warnings to stay home if possible on Wednesday, when temperatures were expected to be at their coldest. Scores of schools, businesses and government agencies announced closures in multiple states.