The word "cold" doesn't even begin to describe what many people across the U.S. are experiencing this week. There’s currently a polar vortex ripping across the country, and it's bringing brutal winter weather with it. defines a polar vortex as, "a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles." Right now, it's sending a surge of freezing air down into the Northern Hemisphere.
According to , the Midwest is being hit the hardest by these harsh conditions, with temperatures dipping below negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit in some places like . The wind chill is even worse: In some areas it feels like it's negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit. , , , , and have all recorded bitterly cold temperatures.
Not only does this weather feel unbearable, but it's also extremely dangerous. The Weather Channel notes that we're dealing with, "life-threatening wind chills in the Midwest that could lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes." And it's not just the middle of the country that is encountering these extremes—the East Coast is also being affected. The northeast will see its worst wind chills on Thursday morning, which could dip to negative 20 to negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here are some of the most fascinating images captured of the bone-chilling conditions so far.