The mass of frigid air is working its way through the Midwest on its way to the East Coast. Some parts of Minnesota are expected to see wind chill readings at 70 degrees below zero. The bitter air will make its way through the Dakotas, into Chicago, and all across the Northeast corridor, stretching as far south as Atlanta.
The cold temperatures have forced many government officials to warn residents to stay indoors. The deadly cold temperatures have led to the cancellations of schools in many parts of the country. Even the United States Postal Service announced on Tuesday that it is suspending mail delivery on Wednesday for six entire states and portions of four more. The states affected by the USPS shutdown are all of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, as well as sections of Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska.
Air travel has also been affected by the winter weather. So far, more than 2,700 flights have been canceled on Tuesday and into Wednesday. The hardest hit city is Chicago with over 1,500 cancellations in its airports alone. Chicago is predicted to see a daytime high on Wednesday of only 15 below zero. Thursday’s low could plummet to 27 below zero.
When it is all said and done, over 70 percent of the nation will see below freezing temperatures by the end of the week. Of that number, about 25 percent will experience subzero temperatures between Wednesday and early into next week.
Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker has already declared a state of emergency, citing the life-threatening cold temperatures. Extreme risk of frostbite and hypothermia are two of the major consequences of this weather pattern.