Colder-than-Antarctica temperatures grip US Midwest

Ice covers the Lake Michigan shoreline on Wednesday in Chicago

Ice covers the Lake Michigan shoreline on Wednesday in Chicago

Icy conditions, brutal winds, and temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit rocked 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. But students headed back to school in eastern North Dakota, where subzero temperatures were forecast to crawl upward.

Thursday morning temperatures dipped to 21 degrees below zero - minus 39 degrees with windchill, according to the National Weather Service.

More than a dozen deaths in several states were linked to the deep freeze since Saturday, and the number was expected to climb as authorities identified more victims. "Past record-cold waves have not dissipated this quickly". Moline hit a new low late Wednesday night - the lowest temperature the city has ever recorded. Minnesota's current record low is minus-60, setin 1996 near the city of Tower. " ... For Chicago, we're accustomed to things getting cold".

Cook County's medical examiner's office said there had been one confirmed cold-related death this week in the Chicago area.

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Director of Whitman County Public Health Troy Henderson said there are no known or suspected cases on the east side of the state. Doctors say the disease spreads so quickly because it can linger for hours after an infected person has left the room.

Homeless and displaced people were particularly at risk, with Chicago and other cities setting up warming shelters.

Masters, from Weather Underground, said the polar vortex was "rotating up into Canada" and not expected to return in the next couple of weeks.

Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the service, said that some of the coldest wind chills were recorded in International Falls, Minnesota, at minus 55oF (minus 48oC).

Still, with temperatures dropping to 23 degrees below zero early Wednesday, that means the Polar Vortex that blew through Chicago this week produced among the lowest temperatures since record keeping began in 1871. Several other locations in Minnesota and North Dakota plunged to unsafe lows, including Warren, Minnesota (minus-47); Lisbon, North Dakota (minus-46); and Park Rapids, Minnesota (minus-42).

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Wednesday was the second-coldest day in Chicago's history. The maximum temperature, minus-10, was set just after midnight, then the mercury dropped to minus-24 later in the morning.

Forecasters describe wildly fluctuating weather trends as whiplash.

Streets in Chicago were almost empty, with few people walking outside in the painfully cold air as temperatures hovered around -28C. By the time the weekend arrives, about 20 million people in the USA will experience temperatures of at least -18 degrees. "I've lived here 40 years and never until today have never seen a more spectacular display of 'sea smoke'". But it doesn't mean Utah won't experience temperatures similar to the Midwest's chilly temperatures.

According to Accuweather's RealFeel temperatures-which calculates how the outside temperature is perceived by the average person-the Upper Midwest felt like minus 77 degrees on January 29, where it was reported at Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

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I'm calling you a hater of the Palestinians. "I want to talk about Israel because it has been a point of contention", Salbi said . Omar responded by saying the message was "heinous and hateful" and how she receives similarly disgusting calls every day.

This article was written by Angela Fritz, a reporter for The Washington Post.

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