You'd have to be living under and iceberg to have missed the big news of the week: a polar vortex has basically frozen America.
The bubble of cold air normally trapped in the Arctic was pushed down south by the jet stream, a weather phenomenon now known as a polar vortex. It has brought with it dangerously low temperatures and a record-setting wind chill that has stopped many American cities in place.
School boards have cancelled classes and even the USPS has stopped delivering mail. It feels like most of the Midwest has been completely frozen.
It looks that way too.
Earlier this week, Chicago made national news because they had taken to setting their train tracks on fire to keep them from warping in the extreme cold. The wind chill there made it feel colder than -50°F.
The extreme weather is making for some remarkable pictures and videos. The water on Lake Michigan is throwing off some serious steam.
Looking out at the frigid body of water almost looks as if you're soaring above the clouds.
There's been plenty of other jaw-dropping pictures of the teeth-chattering weather.
The weather is extremely dangerous to humans, with frostbite setting in after only about five minutes. It is also damaging to structures like train tracks because the metal contracts when cold. Water lines can also burst open because ice takes up more space than water.
Still, the weather can be beautiful.
Any structure near the water has been pelted with moisutre, which has then frozen, creating stunning works of art.
Many people on social media have compared it to the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow, which saw the world freeze over because of climate change.
Anyone landing in Chicago's O'Hare Airport will be treated to something special, as Lake Michigan looks incredible from the air.
But also the ground.
It's been over 150 years since temperatures have reached this low in the area, but many weather experts are warning we can expect to see events like this more often.
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Hope everyone is staying warm during this polar vortex. @nealobryanphoto ventured out yesterday morning to catch the sunrise over Lake Michigan. Eyelashes froze over while taking this photo. Coldest day recorded in Chicago -40 degrees wind chill . #chicago #landscape #winter #lakemichigan #nikon #stopmotion #landscapephotography #landscapes #nature #scenic #horrorfilm #wildlifephotography #naturephotography #filmmaker #horror #indiefilm #animation #polarvortex #filmmaking #landscape_lovers #natgeo #natgeotravel #travel #fodorstravel #instatravel #chicagoland #nikonz6 #chigram
It may be beautiful to look at, but it's still dangerous weather out there. People are reminded that it's safest indoors, but if you do have to leave the house dress in layers. Limit skin exposure and make sure you have blankets or extra clothes in your car in case you get stranded.