A polar vortex has descended on the U.S and parts of Canada, forcing many to stay inside and drink hot chocolate.
After a winter storm blanketed areas of Canada and the northeastern U.S. with up to 2 feet of snow over the weekend, a polar vortex causing subzero temperatures slammed a good portion of the U.S. on Monday from the Midwest to the Plains. Frigid air swept through the Dakotas into Minnesota and Illinois, with temperatures dropping as -50 degrees (Celsius!) with the wind chill.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn advised people not to go outside unless absolutely necessary, while meteorologists warned that with the polar vortex, there is the threat of frostbite in “minutes or even seconds.”
“Exposed flesh can freeze in as little as five minutes with wind chills colder than 50 below,” the National Weather Service said.
The artic blast has brought the coldest weather in decades for many states in the U.S. But the northern states aren’t the only ones who will have to deal with the record-breaking temperatures. Snow is expected to fall as far south as Tennessee and Alabama, and even Atlanta is expected to fall below freezing on Tuesday.
More than 3,000 flights were cancelled on Monday, on top of thousands grounded over the weekend. The winter storm and the polar vortex that followed have been linked with 16 deaths so far. So avoid the evil polar vortex by staying inside, drinking some tea, cuddling some cats, and cursing the Obamas for going on a 2-week vacation to Hawaii.