Why Utah will never have a 'polar vortex'

Cloud streets and lake-effect snow stretch across the scene as frigid Arctic winds blew over the Great Lakes

Cloud streets and lake-effect snow stretch across the scene as frigid Arctic winds blew over the Great Lakes

Tens of millions of Americans braved Arctic-like temperatures on Thursday as low minus 49 Celsius that paralysed the US Midwest and were blamed for at least 21 deaths. That made some parts of IL colder than Antarctica on Wednesday, and with the windchill factor made Los Angeles feel as much as 100 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than some parts of the midwest.

The polar vortex that brought many cities to a standstill is expected to come to a swift end with a rapid thaw that experts say could be unprecedented, with temperatures rising by as much as 80 degrees. A wind chill of minus 52 on early Wednesday was the fifth coldest since 1929.

The dramatic warm-up will offer respite from the bone-chilling cold which canceled school, closed businesses and halted trains.

Consumers Energy, a natural gas provider in MI, had a fire on Wednesday morning that damaged equipment and temporarily affected how much gas could be sent out to customers. Authorities asked residents to reduce heat consumption wherever possible and decreased heating in government buildings. In Detroit, more than two dozen water mains froze.

Almost 1,700 flights had been canceled in Chicago by Thursday afternoon. Airport crews worked in 15-minute increments on the tarmac to avoid frostbite.

The CTA plans to operate its train and bus service as scheduled, though it delays emerged on almost all lines as rush hour began.

"The coldest part (of the polar vortex) nearly moved directly over us and that helped the longevity of our subzero temperatures", Kluber said.

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Roach picked up 4-30 off 15 overs, while Shannon Gabriel chipped in with three wickets, Joseph with two and Holder with one. Fellow commentator, and former England batsman Ian Ward agreed.

"We are not done yet. We've got another 24 hours where the weather will be at risky levels", Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told a news conference.

Temperatures in Minneapolis dipped as low as 28 degrees below zero, with the wind chill reaching 53 degrees below zero, the National Weather Service said.

Temperatures in the Upper Midwest will rebound well above zero F (minus 18 C) on Friday, with highs making it into the teens and low 20s F. By Saturday, highs will be in the 30s and even low 40s F, while the central Plains will be in the low 60s F, almost 20 to 25 degrees above normal, the weather service said. Central Time, breaking the record of minus-27 set on January 20, 1982.

Chicago passed the record low for 31 January, while Mount Carroll has probably beaten the IL record with a morning temperature of -39C.

Cities across Iowa have also broken temperature records.

"It's important for individuals to monitor their local forecast closely and always heed the direction of local officials to stay safe when hazardous weather conditions exist", said James Joseph, FEMA Region V administrator.

There were also concerns over another round of snow late Thursday, after a weekend snowstorm inundated the areas now frozen by Arctic cold. "They are going from well below average temperature to well above average temperatures". However, rain will likely hit the city starting Saturday and won't relent until early next week - when more snow arrives.

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