How The Polar Vortex Impacted The Midwest

Chicago River, Illinois frozen over from the Polar Vortex.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons Taken by David Pyle

David Pyle

Chicago River, Illinois frozen over from the Polar Vortex. Photo from Wikimedia Commons Taken by David Pyle

Andrew O'Claray, Reporter

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What Is The Polar Vortex?

The Polar Vortex a stream of air flowing in a counterclockwise direction the stratosphere over the north pole these winds tend to keep the cold air in the Arctic region, but when these winds get distorted they can drop farther south than normally allowing harsh cold winds to flow southward.

Impacts On The Midwest.

The polar vortex caused New York and several other states to drop to the single digits while Chicago, Illinois was hit the worst with Sub Zero and below temperatures for four days in a row. Authorities in the Midwest warned about possible instant frostbite conditions as the temperature got colder than some places in Antarctica at least 21 people have died so far, being one of the worst cold snaps in U.S history in the past decade. O’hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois canceled more than 1600 flights. Railroad crews in Chicago are also lit train tracks on fire to keep trains moving. Chicago has opened up warming centers throughout the city as residents lost power throughout the city.  A good samaritan in Chicago paid for 70 hotel rooms for the homeless on January 30th when temperatures got to a low of -23 F. The extremely chilled gusts of air could cost the economy 5 Billion dollars and airlines 50 to 100 Million for cancellations.

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