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35 Pictures That Show Just How Effing Cold The Polar Vortex Is

Welcome to Polar Vortex 2019, which sort of sounds like a video game but is actually what’s causing the current ridiculously cold weather that’s hitting the U.S., especially in the midwest.

People in the Midwest and Great Lakes are seeing record-breaking wind chills from 40 to 65 degrees below zero this week. That’s so cold that bare exposed skin can get frostbitten in five minutes or less. That is some not kidding around cold.

The actual polar vortex is a whirling mass of cold air high up in the atmosphere in winter that usually stays over the North and South Poles (as the name suggests). Sometimes a piece of that Northern mass of air breaks off and heads farther south, which is what is happening now.

The polar vortex does seem to be moving around more often in recent years, which some (but not all) scientists say could be connected to global warming, according to USA Today. The hypothesis is that when warm air goes to the Arctic, some of the cold that’s supposed to stay there instead moves down into Europe and North America.

So be careful, stay warm, and just look at the weather the polar vortex is creating from the cozy comfort of the inside of your home.

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How quickly the water freezes on this glass in Chicago from oddlysatisfying

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https://twitter.com/HeidiMiler/status/1090957142264332289

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