According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Chicago is forecast to fall to negative 24 degrees Tuesday night and 26 degrees below zero on Wednesday night. During the early Wednesday morning hours, much of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and IL are locked down with these "feels like" temperatures in the -40s, -50s, and even -60s (Fahrenheit) as winds howl out of the west at up to 25mph.
The blast of arctic cold that hit the U.S. Midwest this week will linger on Thursday, but it's pushing east and losing much of its bite. Weather.com says that Minneapolis, MN, will see a low of minus 31 Thursday morning, while International Falls, MN, will reach as low as minus 37. It was colder than Alaska´s state capital and even colder than parts of Antarctica.
In Fargo, North Dakota, where the temperature dropped to minus 24F (minus 31C), Dan Hallock, an advertising executive, marveled that people were still working outside as he bought coffee.
"These (conditions) are actually a public health risk and you need to treat it appropriately", Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday. About 1,700 flights in and out of Chicago airports were canceled. By the weekend, daytime temperatures will be above freezing across most of the Midwest.
Hundreds of warming centres were opened for vulnerable residents such as seniors, buses were employed as mobile warming spaces, and shelter capacities were increased for the homeless, including the approximately 16,000 living on the streets of Chicago.
A popular saying goes: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat ..." will stop the mail from being delivered, but extreme cold did so Wednesday.
He said places in MI and IL that were experiencing record or near-record cold this week were expected to be around 10C by Monday, approximately a 40C turnaround.
"It is not out of bounds with the historical record", University of Miami professor Ben Kirtman said.
The US Postal Service - known for its commitment to bringing the mail whatever the weather - suspended deliveries in parts of Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, the Dakotas and Nebraska.
Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin implemented emergency measures.
Homeless shelters were also preparing for the onslaught of cold.
At least six deaths have been linked so far to the weather system, including two people in the Detroit area, according to local police. The body of a 55-year-old man was found frozen in his garage Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after he apparently collapsed while shoveling snow.
Detroit's outlook was for Wednesday overnight lows around -12°F (-24°C), with wind chills dropping to -35°F (-37°C). But they said it was hard to pinpoint the cause of a single weather event such as this week's cold blast. "I can feel my skin tighten up".
America's third city was in the direct path of the harsh weather and experienced its second-coldest day ever.
Commuters courageous the wind and snow in frigid weather in Cincinnati, on January 30, 2019.
The extreme cold has also sent dozens of people to hospitals in Minnesota.