Nightly News   |  January 05, 2014

Arctic Vortex Causes Dangerous Cold

Frigid weather grapples much of the nation. Find out what the cold weather has in store for the rest of the week. Meteorologist Mike Seidel  and  NBC’s Al Roker report.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> mike seidel is in indianapolis where it has been snowing for more than 12 hours. mike?

>> reporter: good evening. we saw nearly a foot of snow so far and now they've almost hit their seasonal average and it is only nearly january. it has been 30 degrees, a heavy wet snow that has knocked down trees on power lines and about 35,000 customers are without power tonight. that's not good. when the polar victoria sex coming into the lower 48, that victoria sex a big blob of bitter air, the coldest on the continent. that will send temperatures here down to 15 below zero . 50 degrees colder than they were this morning. windchills, 70 degrees colder on monday than they were this morning and carl, you can get frostbite tomorrow in as easily as five minutes. about everything tomorrow has thrown in the towel. schools and government offices. we'll be out here and you betcha, we'll have more layers than we have on now.

>> we know you will. thanks.

>>> al roker is tracking the storm.

>> we won't see any relief until around thursday. psych mike will be in the snow longer in indianapolis and we're seeing ice state departmenting to form central new york , central pennsylvania. here's what we've got. another three to six inches from indianapolis into detroit, into the eastern great lakes. some areas, 9 to 12 inches and ice, dangerous ice anywhere from a tenth of an inch to up a half an inch in central new england. here's what's going on? we right now have this polar vortex . this is brutally cold air from the center part of the arctic. it is now broken loose. think of this as an arctic hurricane . the winds in a counter clockwise direction, pushing that brutally cold air as far south as florida. in fact, 30 states are under winter weather advisories. they're under windchill warnings, windchill advisories, windchill watches from the dakotas down to texas and florida. chicago, by early tomorrow morning it will feel like 43 below. chicago schools are closed for tomorrow. tulsa, 11 below. it will feel like 11 below in cincinnati. during the day it will only get up to 18 below in minneapolis. it will feel like 43 below. and then on tuesday morning, look at this. the big chill hits the east coast . 16 below in new york. feel like 15 below in washington, 8 below in raleigh. the good news, there is a break coming finally later this week, the polar victoria election head to the north. it will release its grip on the country and then warmer zonal winds will come in from the west and bring in more milder temperatures.