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Polar vortex

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Across the Midwest and throughout lower Canada the deep freeze hit in late January. Chicago, one of the United States most populated cities, reached as low as -40°F with the wind chill. This deep freeze lasted for a few days at the end of January. As the cold approached the Midwest, cities prepared by canceling school, work, and flights. Citizens were instructed to stay inside and stay warm.

The cause of the cold is due to pressure changes. Cold air in the polar vortex around the North Pole spilled into the Midwest according to a NASA climate article. It has caused ice to spread all over Canada and the Midwest.

The cold resulted in several deaths including car accidents and exposure. A student of the University of Iowa was found dead on campus. It was believed to be weather related according to time.com. Two elderly people also fell and passed away while trying to get into their home.

Residents of Chicago witnessed an interesting scene as the cold blew in. Lake Michigan produced a smoke known as “sea fog.” According to Chicago Tribune and meteorologist, Ricky Castro, the fog is a result of cold wind blowing across the warmer water. The evaporated water from the lake freezes once it hits the air, causing the smoke.

Pictures and videos of frozen jeans were circulated around the internet showing the cold. Many people who left their clothes out to dry woke up to find that they were frozen solid and able to stand on their own without legs inside.

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