Much of mid- and northeastern America is in middle of deadly cold snap. Many states from Michigan in north to Georgia in south are experiencing freezing temperatures not experienced for decades. It is currently colder in many parts of USA than it is in Antarctica. The cold spell is because of what is called polar vortex. This is swirling mass of air and wind that has come down from Arctic, which is where North Pole is. The government has declared states of emergency in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Many schools and businesses have been closed due to extreme cold. People have been warned not to travel, and even not to go outside and breathe in icy air.
weather website AccuWeather said that temperature in Thief River Falls, in state of Minnesota, dropped to real-feel minus sixty degrees Celsius. Many parts of Chicago River turned to ice, Niagara Falls turned into winter wonderland and parts of Lake Michigan froze over. The bitter freeze is believed to be responsible for deaths of at least eight people so far. Health officials are urging people to go outside only if it is absolutely necessary. They warned that exposing skin to the freezing air was dangerous. It could lead to frostbite or breathing problems. People were also urged to be careful when shoveling snow outside and be careful of blocks of snow and ice falling from roof.