Scenes From ‘Chiberia' and Beyond: Polar Vortex Sweeps US

A deep freeze swept over Minnesota to Michigan, closing schools, canceling flights and halting mail delivery as people were urged to stay indoors and away from sub-zero wind chills. The mercury is expected to dip to minus 20 degrees in Chicago and elsewhere, with some places expected to see a wind chill of up to minus 60.

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Cristean Quinones took this aerial snap of a frozen Lake Michigan as one of the few passengers flying out of Chicago on Jan. 30, 2019.
Bimbo Gifford
The Cameron fire chief covered in frozen water he used fighting a house fire in Cameron, Wisconsin, Jan. 30, 2019, according to Bimbo Gifford, the assistant fire chief.
Tony Dejak/AP
Ice crystals form on a window in Pepper Pike, Ohio, Jan. 31, 2019. The painfully cold weather system holding much of the Midwest in a historic deep freeze sent temperatures plunging to record low temperatures in several cities Thursday.
micah craig/Flickr
The sun rises over downtown Pittsburgh and a partially frozen Allegheny River on Jan 31, 2019. The temperature in Pittsburgh dropped to minus 4 late Wednesday, breaking an 85-year-old record low.
Lindsay Reed
This Tom Brady jersey is just the latest piece of clothing left outside to freeze in Minnesota. "Bet the #Patriots are glad we're not hosting this year," Minnesota resident Lindsay Reed said.
Getty Images
Flights are cancelled from the cold at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Jan. 31, 2019. The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze was expected to ease Thursday, though not by much.
A 21-vehicle pileup in Batavia, New York, shut down the New York State Thruway where heavy snow and high winds made driving treacherous on Jan. 30, 2019.
DeShaun Craddock/Flickr
The shores around Lake Erie in Cleveland freezes from the sub-zero Arctic temperature in Cleveland, Jan. 31, 2019.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
A homeless man sitting outside a coffee shop accepts cash from a customer on a bitter cold morning, Jan. 31, 2019, in Portland, Maine.
Carolyn Thompson/AP
A man is bundled up against bitter wind and blowing snow as he operates a snowblower, Jan. 30, 2019, in Buffalo, New York.
Julio Cortez/AP
A vehicle rides along Clinton Road in Hewitt, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2019.
Jacqueline Larma/AP
Drifting snow obscures a road near Mount Joy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 30, 2019.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
A sign shows the current freezing outdoor temperature in Glenview, Illinois, Jan. 30, 2019.
Courtesy Jordan Wilson
One enterprising Chicagoan made the best out of the record chills by turning a pot of boiling water into snow - a common trick done during frigid days.
Courtesy Blagica Bottigliero
The door of an Amtrak train leaving Chicago's Union Station is frozen over in this photo from Jan. 29, 2019. "The rest of the train is cozy and warm," Amtrak rider Blagica Bottigliero said.
Justin Wenzel/SVL Media
It was so cold in Buffalo, Minnesota, that a man was able to use a frozen banana in place of a hammer to nail down a board on Jan. 30, 2019.
NBC Chicago
Dangerously freezing winds moving south from the Arctic has made parts of the Midwest colder than Siberia and the South Pole Station in Antartica.
Courtesy Brent Beck
Brent Beck captured mesmerizing footage of Chicago from miles above as sub-zero chills hit the Windy City on Jan. 30, 2019. "What a negative billion degrees look like from the air," he said on his Instagram post.
Nati Harnik/AP
First responders evacuate a person found in sub-freezing temperatures on the banks of Carter Lake, in Omaha, Nebraska, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.
Pedestrians bundle up in sub-freezing temperatures on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, in Omaha, Nebraska, Jan. 30, 2019.
Courtesy Terry Greenbeans
Don't leave laundry outside in Chicago today like this White Sox fan...or it might just freeze.
Kiichiro Sato/AP
Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise in Chicago, Jan. 30, 2019.
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Humans living in the Midwest might not enjoy the negative 40 windchill but zoo animals like the sea otters at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium is having the time of their lives among the snow.
Courtesy Nicholas Walcott
EMPTY_CAPTION"Insane," was Nicholas William Walcott's opinion when he saw the inside of his door in Chicago, Illinois, frosting from the extreme cold.
Michael Conroy/AP
A pedestrian makes their way along the Canal Walk downtown in Indianapolis, Jan. 30, 2019, as temperatures remained below zero Fahrenheit in Central Indiana.
Jeffrey Phelps/AP
Geese huddle in freezing water as the sun rises at the harbor in Port Washington, Wisconsin, on Jan. 30, 2019.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
Icicles cover a warning sign in Clark Square park in Evanston, Illinois, Jan. 30, 2019.
Kiichiro Sato/AP
Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise, Jan. 30, 2019, in Chicago.
Dashcam footage filmed by Carol Bauer in Graceville, Minnesota, shows white-out conditions on Jan. 29, 2019. A deep freeze sweeping over Midwest states is bringing "life-threatening" temperatures that canceled schools and mail delivery in the area.
A person walks along the lakeshore, Jan. 30, 2019, in Chicago. A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest with record-breaking temperatures on Wednesday, triggering widespread closures of schools and businesses, and prompting the U.S. Postal Service to take the rare step of suspending mail delivery to a wide swath of the region.
Bruce Crummy/AP
The sign outside of a Moorhead, Minnesota, elementary school show subzero temperatures sweeping over midwest states on Jan. 29, 2019. Daytime temperatures in the Fargo-Moorhead area were near -20F as frigid weather grips the area.
Julio Cortez/AP
Mike Riker, left, rides a sled with his sons, Julian, 4, front, and Eli, 2, at Hopatcong State Park during the early part of a snowstorm, Jan. 29, 2019, in Landing, New Jersey.
Connecticut Department of Transportation
A brisk wind snaps the U.S. flags that line this automotive sales lot in north Jackson, Mississippi, Jan. 29, 2019.
Judo Boricua
Gas-fired switch heaters keep trains in Chicago moving despite the deep freeze, as seen on the tracks of a southbound Metra train in Chicago near Metra Western Avenue station on Jan. 29, 2019.
Chicago's lakefront is covered with ice on Jan. 30, 2019. Temperatures are plummeting in Illinois and other states in the Midwest as officials warn against venturing out into the dangerously cold weather.
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