The combination of those extremes results in a daily average of minus-17, just short of December 24, 1983, when the average temperature was minus-18 in the Windy City. In Michigan, melting snow and rain and a 17-mile ice jam could lead to flooding.
The polar vortex had claimed at least nine lives by Thursday, with numerous casualties having succumbed to hypothermia. But the sudden swing from long johns to light jackets and short sleeves could create problems of its own.
Chicago's weather this weekend will likely seem tropical in comparison. "Past record-cold waves have not dissipated this quickly". "We've got to fight it out, right?"
On Thursday, the system marched east, spreading arctic conditions over an area from Buffalo to Brooklyn.
There was also a 20-car pileup Wednesday in NY on the state's thruway. The frightful cold, expected to bottom out with record lows Thursday morning, was blamed for several deaths across the region, and fears for the most vulnerable populations soared as night fell. Other previously frozen areas could see temperatures of 55 (13 Celsius) or higher.
Tourists taking pictures of the Canadian Horseshoe falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday. But potholes will appear on roads and bridges weakened by the freeze-thaw cycle.
"Water pipes are brittle". Scores of vehicles will be left with flat tires and bent rims.
In Chicago, first responders have gotten calls nearly every day this week about people in duress on the ice.
In Detroit, more than two dozen water mains froze.
"We'll have all hands on deck". As the report said, "it's becoming ice-crystal-clear that change in the far north will increasingly affect us all".
Pelicans star Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, requests trade
Per Wojnarowski, it's expected that almost every team in the National Basketball Association will try to make a move for Davis. Boston could agree to a Davis trade before July 1 that isn't finalized until after that date. "I can say that to the world".
Natural gas supplies were under threat in MI and Minnesota, where authorities asked residents to reduce their heat consumption if at all possible.
Minneapolis could break low temperatures records that were set in the 1800s! In Chicago, temperatures dropped so low the public city train system had to resort to extreme measures to ensure they continued to operate.
In Chicago, Illinois, temperatures were still dropping after plunging early Wednesday to minus-19 degrees, breaking the day's record low set in 1966.
"That wind chill out there is not even a joke", he said. The worst conditions have now lifted, but the NWS office in Grand Forks warned Thursday morning that wind chill values would still be in the minus 25 degrees to minus 35 range. "But we will never force someone", police officer Michael Carroll said. If it does return in late February, "it won't be as intense".
A zebra died at a farm in northern in due to the extreme cold gripping the region.
"Remember to check on your neighbours and loved ones to make sure they're safe during this brutally cold weather", Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker tweeted.
The effect on the overall economy was not expected to be that great.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said one reason the severe cold weather will have less impact is that, unlike a hurricane, people did not lose electric power. "Life goes on. It is a disruption to daily life, but it is not a big hit to the economy". A wind chill of minus 52 on early Wednesday was the fifth coldest since 1929.
A pedestrian is covered in his winter wardrobe while walking on Franklin Avenue on a brutally cold Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in downtown Scranton, Pa. Forecasters advised against breathing deeply or talking while outside and warned that frostbite and hypothermia issues could occur within seconds.On Wednesday biting temperatures even caused Hell -a small town near Michigan- to freeze over, which prompted much discussion on social media.
It's a bit warmer in South Dakota, where the National Weather Service says the high temperature in Sioux Falls on Thursday is expected to be 12 degrees (minus 11 Celsius).