Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay insidehttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/polar-vortex-2019-chilling-photos-that-will-make-you-stay-inside-5566773/

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

As ominous as the term polar vortex sounds, meteorologists say the phenomenon is not new, nor despite its sound does it refer to a cyclone of cold or a freakishly dangerous storm

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

A record-breaking cold wave has swept through the US Midwest, with 22 states hitting sub-zero temperatures. Among cities, Chicago dropped to a low of -30°C, slightly above the city’s lowest-ever reading of -32°C from January 1985. Minneapolis recorded 32°C and Sioux Falls (South Dakota) -31°C.

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

Meteorologists have blamed a phenomenon called the polar vortex for the bitter cold that has descended on much of the central and eastern United States this week, forcing residents to huddle indoors, closing schools and businesses and cancelling flights. (Reuters)

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

There is some debate among scientists about whether polar vortexes have become more frequent and, if so, what effect climate change might be having on them. (Reuters)

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

As ominous as the term polar vortex sounds, meteorologists say the phenomenon is not new, nor despite its sound does it refer to a cyclone of cold or a freakishly dangerous storm. (Reuters)

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

It has been more than 20 years since a similar blast of frigid air covered a swath of the US Midwest and Northeast, according to the National Weather Service. (AP)

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

Homeless and displaced people were particularly at risk, with Chicago and other cities setting up warming shelters. But many toughed it out in camps or vacant buildings. (Reuters)

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

The death toll rose to 20 due to polar vortex out of which at least nine people in Chicago were reported to have died from frost-bite or cold related injuries, Reuters reported.(AP)

Polar Vortex 2019: Chilling photos that will make you stay inside

As the US Midwest and East Coast thawed out from days of bitter, deadly cold, Californians on Friday battened down the hatches ahead of a fierce winter storm carrying heavy rains and high winds that could touch off urban flooding and mudslides. (AP)