Cold Polar Vortex Could Bring Dangerously Low Temps

Bitter cold temperatures that will blow into the Midwest and then Northeast over the next few days will likely set records for low temperatures, disrupt many schools and airports and endanger those who are dressed improperly when outside.

The frigid temperatures will start Sunday and last until midweek. The cold air will funnel as far to the south as the Gulf Coast thanks to a polar vortex, which is counterclockwise rotation of an area of dense, cold air.

Forecasters say they are expecting temperatures to be record setting in many areas. Fargo, North Dakota is expecting 25 below zero, International Falls, Minnesota 31 below zero, Chicago and Indianapolis 15 below zero.

With the wind chill, some places could be as low as 70 below zero. When temperatures reach between 15 and 30 below zero, skin that is exposed can become frostbitten within just minutes and hypothermia could quickly set in.

Doctors warn than all areas of the body must be covered, especially the face, ears and hands. Mittens are recommended over gloves, along with three layers of clothing. If someone gets wet, it is important to get out of the cold

Officials are warning that those people not properly dressed risk death in these types of conditions.

The temperatures have not been this frigid in decades. One meteorologist said the temperatures have not been this cold for over 40 years.

The arctic air is expected to affect things from schools to sports to flight. A flight tracking website, FlightAware.com say airport delays and cancellations of flights should be commonplace due to the cold temperatures.

Some aircraft is only certified to a certain temperature to takeoff, so if the temperatures go too low they cannot legally leave the ground.

The NFL game scheduled for Sunday in Green Bay might be amongst the coldest to ever be played as minus-2 degrees is expected for the game, but with the wind chill, it will feel like -30. Medical experts say that fans should wear a minimum of three layers of clothing and drink fluids that are warm, but no alcohol.

The entire state of Minnesota has already called school off for Monday, the first time that has happened in over 17 years. Some cities in Wisconsin, including Madison and Milwaukee have cancelled Monday classes as well.

In Allagash, Maine, the temperatures hit minus-36 after midnight on Saturday and will drop into the rest of New England during the day and into the night Sunday.

 

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