NPR

Polar Vortex Causes Midwest States Of Emergency As Cold Pushes Farther South

Wind chill warnings stretch from the Dakotas into Western Pennsylvania. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, and the governors of Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois have declared emergencies.
Icicles form on the walkway at North Avenue Beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago on Tuesday. Source: Pinar Istek

The polar vortex sliding south into the Midwest is sending temperatures to their lowest levels in more than 30 years and, in some cases, setting records.

While it usually sits over the Arctic, the polar vortex is being pushed south by an unseasonably warm air mass to the north.

The life-threatening cold is paralyzing the region — closing schools, businesses and courthouses; grounding flights; and keeping millionstheir homes.

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