Much mid- and northeastern America is the middle a deadly cold snap. Many states Michigan in the north to Georgia in the south are experiencing freezing temperatures not experienced decades. It is currently colder many parts of the USA than it is in Antarctica. The cold spell is because what is called a polar vortex. This is a swirling mass of air and wind that has come down the Arctic, which is where the North Pole is. The government has declared states emergency in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Many schools and businesses have been closed due to the extreme cold. People have been warned not to travel, and even not to go outside and breathe the icy air.
The weather website AccuWeather said that the temperature Thief River Falls, in the state Minnesota, dropped to a real-feel minus sixty degrees Celsius. Many parts the Chicago River turned to ice, Niagara Falls turned a winter wonderland and parts Lake Michigan froze . The bitter freeze is believed to be responsible the 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 the 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 blocks snow and ice falling the roof.