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Polar Vortex Hits the United States

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Polar Vortex Hits the United States

Sierra Hurson, Journalist

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A state of emergency has been declared in the Midwest as the region is hit by a spinning pool of freezing air, which is known as the polar vortex. The polar vortex is bringing temperatures as low as -64 degrees F. The below freezing temperatures are estimated to affect over 55 million Americans. Midwestern states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as southern states including Mississippi and Alabama, have declared a state of emergency. This type of extreme low temperatures is extremely rare. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), frostbite is possible within only 10 minutes of being outside and they are advising those affected by this weather to stay inside as much as possible. From Tuesday to Thursday the coldest temperatures are supposed to hit and it is likely that Chicago will reach colder temperatures than Antarctica. Weather forecasters have concluded that the polar vortex was caused by warming just above the North Pole which was caused by warm air that came from Morocco last month. The polar vortex was then split and the weather system caused it to drift in the southern direction. This extreme weather has impacted the lives of many Americans in negative ways. In Chicago, police say that people are being robbed at gunpoint for their coats and other warm weather gear. Over 1,100 flights have been cancelled out of or into the U.S. Numbers of government agencies, schools, and businesses have been closed throughout the Midwest. Additionally, many emergency shelters for the homeless have been opened in affected cities, as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett explains, “This is not the night for anyone to stay outdoors.”

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Polar Vortex Hits the United States