Brutal cold smashes records in the Midwest

Brutal cold smashes records in the Midwest

Officials across multiple states linked numerous deaths to the frigid air, with the homeless and elderly being among the most vulnerable.

Several cities in Iowa also saw new record-lows, with temperatures as cold as minus-29 degrees.

Prospect Creek, Alaska, holds the overall record with minus 80 degrees, which occurred on january 23, 1971. Her video has now collected over 1.67 million views.

The bitter cold was caused by the displacement of the polar vortex, a stream of air that normally spins around the stratosphere over the North Pole but whose current was disrupted.

It has been more than 20 years since a similar arctic blast covered the Midwest and Northeast, weather services say.

At least three people died in NY this week as a result of the intense polar vortex that barreled into the East Coast this week after punishing the Midwest with abundant snow, ice and subzero wind chills.

Streets in Chicago were almost empty, with few people walking outside in the painfully cold air as temperatures hovered around -28C.

While temperatures in much of Midwest (including Minneapolis and Chicago) and Northeast (including Buffalo and Vermont) were hovering around zero degrees Fahrenheit, the weather is expected to warm up during the weekend.

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Rachel Liao, 29, a student at the New School in NY, said she wished classes had been canceled due to the cold. "I'm not used to this".

In the Upper Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana and OH, temperatures will reach well above zero F (minus 18 Celsius) on Friday, with highs making it into the teens and low 20s. Areas in the Midwest experienced "once-in-a-generation" temperatures - 23 below zero in Chicago, 77 degrees below zero in Minnesota and 50 to 60 degrees below zero in Iowa.

At the National Weather Service in Duluth, Minnesota, there was "talk of making a run at the state record" before the sun came up, when temperatures would be at their coldest, meteorologist Geoff Grochocinski told The Washington Post. The city's weekend temperatures will be in the 30s on Saturday, 40s on Sunday and into the 50s on Monday, the National Weather Service tweeted. That made some parts of IL colder than Antarctica on Wednesday, and with the windchill factor made Los Angeles feel as much as 100 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than some parts of the midwest. A 73-year-old woman died from cold exposure in the 2900 block of North Meade Avenue in the Belmont Central neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

The weather service initially hinted of a possibility that Thursday morning could shatter the 1985 record.

At least 11 people have died during the icy grip of the so-called polar vortex that has plunged some areas of the US into Antarctic-level temperatures this week.

But on Friday, Amtrak train services that were halted since Wednesday in Chicago's hub will resume, as will US Postal service halted or limited in six Midwest states.

And while thousands of flights were cancelled and delayed, mostly out of Chicago, the flight-tracking site FlightAware reported cancellations were down to just over 750 and delays just over 130.

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