Image: Polar vortex to bring sub-zero temperatures

In Focus

Polar vortex plunges vast swath of U.S. into deep freeze

A harsh winter blast from the north is bringing dangerous low temperatures to much of the eastern two-thirds of the country.

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Image: Polar Vortex Brings Extreme Cold Temperatures To Chicago

Chicago

A man walks along an ice-covered breakwall along Lake Michigan while temperatures were hovering around -20 degrees and wind chills nearing -50 degrees on Jan. 31. 

Businesses and schools have closed, Amtrak has suspended service into the city, more than a thousand flights have been cancelled and mail delivery has been suspended as the city copes with record-setting low temperatures.

Scott Olson / Getty Images
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Image: A woman clears a car in the snow during a winter storm in Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York

A woman clears a car in the snow. 

The National Weather Service described the polar vortex system surging from the north as "one of the coldest arctic air mass intrusions in recent memory."

Lindsay Dedario / Reuters
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St. Paul, Minnesota

A firefighter walks past an ice-encrusted home after an early morning house fire on in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Jan. 30.

The air temperature was 27 degrees below zero Wednesday morning, with wind chills at 52 degrees below zero.

Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press via AP
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Image: Drifting Snow, Extreme Weather

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Drifting snow obscures a road in Lancaster County. 

Jacqueline Larma / AP
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Minneapolis

A pedestrian walks around Lake Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis.

Brian Peterson / Star Tribue via AP
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Image: A man moves luggage in snow during a winter storm in Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York

A man tows a suitcase during a winter storm. 

Forecasters said subzero temperatures would cover large parts of the East and the Midwest where as many as 75 million Americans live.

Lindsay Dedario / Reuters
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Image: Polar vortex to bring sub-zero temperatures

Chicago

A man tosses hot water into the freezing cold air by Lake Michigan. According to meteorologists temperatures in the Chicago area could drop to minus -25 F.

Kamil Krzaczynski / EPA
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Cincinnati

Commuters brave the wind and snow. 

John Minchillo / AP
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Paterson, New Jersey

A couple looks at ice at the Great Falls National Historic Park. 

Julio Cortez / AP
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Image: Polar vortex to bring sub-zero temperatures

Chicago

A high school student from China takes a selfie along Lake Michigan on Jan. 29. 

Kamil Krzaczynski / EPA
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Image: Cold Weather

Rochester, Minnesota

Commuters wait for the bus in subzero temperatures. 

Joe Ahlquist / The Rochester Post-Bulletin via AP
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Image: A pedestrian stops to take a photo by Chicago River as bitter cold phenomenon called the polar vortex has descended on much of the central and eastern United States

Chicago

A pedestrian stops to take a photo of ice on the Chicago River. 

Pinar Istek / Reuters
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Image: US Cold Weather

Minneapolis

Chloe Adams skis with her dog Roscoe as wind chills reached -30 F. 

Craig Lassig / EPA
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Image: The city skyline is seen from the North Avenue Beach at Lake Michigan as bitter cold phenomenon called the polar vortex has descended on much of the central and eastern United States

Chicago

Ice covers the rocks at North Avenue Beach on Lake Michigan. 

Pinar Istek / Reuters
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Minneapolis

Evan Roberts is covered in frost while jogging. 

David Joles / Star Tribune via AP
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Image: TOPSHOT-US-WEATHER-ENVIRONMENT

Minneapolis

Pedestrians cross the Stone Arch Bridge. 

Stephen Maturen / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: Erin Auger walks along the shore of Lake Michigan near Montrose Beach in Chicago  on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.

Chicago

Erin Auger walks along the shore of Lake Michigan near Montrose Beach. 

Joshua Lott / The New York Times via Redux Pictures
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Rochester, Minnesota

Andrea Billings keeps her face covered while walking in subzero temperatures on the way to her car after work. 

Joe Ahlquist / The Rochester Post-Bulletin via AP
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Image:

Janesville, Wisconsin

Nathan Tearman, front, gets help from his brother James as they shovel their driveway on Jan. 28 after a winter snowstorm.

Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency shortly after noon Monday, citing the snow and severe cold that were forecast for the days ahead.

Anthony Wahl / The Janesville Gazette via AP
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Dubuque, Iowa

Vicki Blake clears snow from the awning of a Dairy Queen as "Wrigley" looks on. 

Jessica Reilly / Telegraph Herald via AP
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