Polar vortex bringing ‘bitterly cold temperatures,’ wind chills to much of US

on Feb8
by | Comments Off on Polar vortex bringing ‘bitterly cold temperatures,’ wind chills to much of US |

The polar vortex that ushered in a blast of arctic air across the U.S. is bringing “bitterly cold temperatures” to most of the nation’s midsection Monday, where some areas may experience “dangerous wind chills” as low as –50 degrees, the National Weather Service is warning. 

As of Monday morning, cities like Chicago, Milwaukee and Des Moines, Iowa are waking up to temperatures around 0 degrees, while conditions in Minneapolis are hovering near 10 below zero. Wind chill advisories are also in effect for a region stretching from Montana to Michigan.

“Residents across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest will start off the work week with continued below average temperatures and brutal wind chills,” the NWS said in an advisory. “Wind chill values well below zero and as low as -50 degrees could be experienced at times across this region.” 

A man is bundled up against the cold in Chicago on Sunday. (AP)

A man is bundled up against the cold in Chicago on Sunday. (AP)


The NWS says the current cold airmass stretches as far south as Oklahoma and as far east as the Ohio Valley. 

“Widespread temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below average can found across these areas thanks to a strong high-pressure system and constant flow of bitter arctic air from southwest Canada,” it added. 

Meanwhile, “multiple rounds of wintry precipitation are expected from the Southern/Central Plains to the Northeast,” according to the NWS. 

“Starting with today, light snowfall is expected to continue across the Northern Rockies and add to the recent fresh snowpack that has accumulated over the last several days,” the advisory said. “Light snow will also be found across the Central Plains and Midwest today as a wave of low pressure develops along the frontal boundary and moves toward the Northeast by Tuesday. 

“Generally around 2 to 4 inches of snow can be expected for these locations, with higher amounts up to 6 inches possible across the Northeast,” it added. 

Then by Wednesday morning, more wintry weather is forecast to develop from the southern Plains to the Midwest. 

“More impactful freezing rain accretion will be possible and this time stretch from northeast Oklahoma to northern Kentucky,” the NWS said. 


But not all of the country is experiencing the deep chill. 

“Much of the Southeast and south-central U.S. will enjoy above average temperatures through Wednesday,” according to the NWS. 

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