FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An arctic blast spread painful cold across the Midwest on Friday, closing schools, opening warming centers and even intimidating ice fishermen in a taste of the even more dangerous weather expected next week.
Forecasters called it a replay of the “polar vortex” that bludgeoned the U.S. in 2014 — and maybe even colder, with wind chills by midweek as much as 45 below in Chicago.
“We’re going to be feeling it big time,” Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the private Weather Underground, said. “It’s going to be the coldest air in five years.”
For much of middle America, the leading edge was bad enough. Cold weather advisories were in effect Friday from North Dakota to Ohio, with dangerously cold wind chills that could dip to as low as 45 below zero (negative 42 Celsius) in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota and to 35 below (negative 37 Celsius) in parts of northern Illinois and Iowa.
When the polar vortex plunges into the U.S., it will be warmer in parts of the Arctic — Greenland, northern Canada and Alaska — than in Chicago and Minneapolis, meteorologists said.
“Temperatures can be held 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit below normal across most of the Midwest around midweek,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
Chicago (CBS) — If you think it feels like Antarctica outside, you’re actually wrong. Chicago is currently colder than some parts of Antarctica.
As of noon on Friday, the temperature in Chicago is 2 degrees Fahrenheit, but it feels like -16 degrees.
According to Accuweather, it is 34 degrees at the Cape Shirreff Field Station In Antarctica.
Further south, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is reporting a temperature of -6 degrees, not much different than the Chicago area’s current temperatures.
According to the National Weather Service, Chicago and other Midwest cities are even colder than parts of Alaska.
- 43 degrees in Anchorage
- 31 degrees in Salt Lake City
- 22 degrees in Denver
- 13 degrees in Indianapolis
- -3 degrees in Minneapolis
- -3 degrees in Barrow, Alaska
Outside of the U.S., the Chicago cold beats out the capital cities of both Iceland and Russia.
- 34 degrees in Reykjavik, Iceland
- 28 degrees in Nuuk, Greenland
- 21 in Seoul, South Korea
- 19 degrees in Montreal, Canada
- 14 degrees in Kyiv, Ukraine
- 7 degrees in Moscow, Russia
Elsewhere in the solar system, Mars might seem balmy with a high of 15 degrees.
An unofficial Twitter account for Mars reported the Red Planet’s daily temperatures about 15 hours ago, based on sensors on the Curiosity rover.