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POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

Last updated on: January 07, 2014 14:57 IST

POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

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The brutal Arctic blast threatens the coldest weather in the United States in two decades. Is the worst yet to come? 

A blast of Arctic air gripped the vast middle of the United States with the coldest temperatures in two decades bringing life to a standstill. Businesses and schools were forced to shutdown and thousands of flights were cancelled.  

At least four deaths were recorded as the blast gripped the US Midwest and pushed toward the East and South and eastern Canada. 

The National Weather Service issued warnings for life-threatening wind chills in western and central North Dakota, with temperatures as low as minus 51 degrees Celsius. The coldest temperatures in years and gusty winds were expected as far south as Brownsville, Texas, and central Florida, the National Weather Service said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency. Parts of major highways would be closed in preparation for the extreme weather,

The severe cold has been described by some meteorologists as the "polar vortex" and dubbed by media as the "polar pig." The polar vortex is the coldest air in the Northern hemisphere that hovers over the polar region in winter but can be pushed south.

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Image: A woman covers her face from the cold as the area deals with record breaking freezing weather
Photographs: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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Ice builds up along Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped well below zero on in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago saw a record low of minus minus 27 C on Monday as a polar air mass brought the coldest temperatures in about two decades into the city.

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Photographs: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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A person walks past a snow covered bus shelter in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Meteorologists said temperatures were dangerously cold and life-threatening in some places, with minus 18 Celsius recorded in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The chill was set to bear down on eastern and southern states as the day wore on.

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Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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A worker uses a tractor to remove snow along Woodward Avenue as the area deals with record breaking freezing weather in Detroit, Michigan.

Michigan and most of the Midwest received their first major snow storm of 2014 last week and subzero temperatures are expected most of this week with wind-chill driving temperatures down to 50-70 degrees below zero.

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Photographs: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

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Pedestrians cross Woodward Avenue as it snows in Detroit, Michigan. Michigan.

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Photographs: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

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A woman walks through a gust of blowing snow in frigid cold temperatures during winter in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

A blast of Arctic air forced businesses and schools to close and causing widespread airline delays and hazardous driving conditions.


Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

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A man photographs the Korean War Veterans Memorial after a heavy snow storm in Washington.

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Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

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Mist rises from Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped well below zero on Monday.


Photographs: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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POLAR FREEZE: Here's a glimpse from the ice age

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A woman falls while slipping on ice during freezing rain on Roosevelt Island, a borough of Manhattan, in New York January.

New York City was hit on Friday by the first severe winter storm of 2014 and is still gripped in sub-freezing weather.

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Photographs: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Ice crystals form on the inside of a window as the area deals with record breaking freezing weather in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Photographs: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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A man clears snow from his car in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Photographs: Nate Chute/Reuters

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A man cycles along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.

The National Capital Commission closed the canal on Monday for ice skating following an overnight mixture of freezing rain and snow, local media reported.

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Photographs: Chris Wattie/Reuters

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Severe cold in the US is forecast to move across the Atlantic to affect the United Kingdom as well.

After the rains and the storm, UK is likely to face snow and ice with winds swinging round to the north of England and Scotland.

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Image: Waves crash over the promenade at hightide in Saundersfoot, in west Wales
Photographs: Chris Wattie/Reuters

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A large wave crashes over the promenade at high tide in Aberystwyth, mid Wales.

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Photographs: Rebecca Naden/Reuters

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People watch waves breaking against the rocks near North beach or Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal.

Strong winds and big waves are expected along the coastline of Portugal and Galicia in Spain.


Photographs: lazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

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