The polar vortex is headed towards the US. This vortex is expected to bring record-breaking cold weather to the northeast upper Midwest, and Great Lakes this week. The cold is so harsh that it could give people frostbite in five minutes. Each year a pocket of frigid air forms over the Arctic and usually stays in the north of the US, however, some of it has broken off and is traveling south where it is hitting the hardest in Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. Temperatures plummeted by as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.
The National Weather Service has tweeted that wind-chill will be the coldest since the mid-1990s for some regions. Many of the regions have started to see record-breaking cold weather. International Falls, Minnesota hit -46 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. This is its fifth-lowest temperature on record. Weather services in Des Moines, Iowa stated: “This is the coldest air many of us have ever experienced.” The worst of the storm is expected to hit from Tuesday through Thursday and it is forecasted to decrease by Friday.
Around 21 people have died from weather-related incidents during the polar vortex. These people were found frozen to death. Vehicle incidents have also claimed the lives of many due to icy roads and harsh storms, which prevented drivers from seeing. People who spend too much time outside in freezing or sub-zero temperatures can quickly deteriorate and die in 24 hours. Doctors are welcoming many patients in their offices for treatments due to frostbite and amputation due to the extent of their injuries. So if you have family in the US make sure to warn them of the brutal cold that is headed their way.