Accumulating Snow & Polar Vortex To Hit The Lansing Area

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The polar vortex is expected to become displaced from the Arctic Circle and plunge down to near the upper Great Lakes. Extremely risky cold is expected from Tuesday night through Thursday for the Midwest and Great Lakes.

"Latest indications are that Chicago could set a record on Wednesday for the day's lowest high temperature", according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines.

Most state government offices in the Lower Peninsula were closed Monday morning except for offices handling critical functions.

"I can not stress how dangerously cold it will be", said Mike Doll, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather. Some of the higher terrain in parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia will see feels like temperatures approach zero with below zero reading in the North Carolina mountains. Chicago-area commuters woke up to heavy snowfall, with more than 5 inches (12.7 centimetres) already on the ground.

"However, below-normal conditions can still be anticipated in the Upper Midwest and Northeast", he said.

When weather people start throwing around terms like "clipper" and "polar vortex", start looking for the warmest clothing and blankets you can find, or plane tickets to Florida. He said city agencies are making sure homeless people are in shelters or offered space in warming buses.

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A winter storm brought several inches of snow to northern IL as the region braces for record-low subzero temperatures. The largest public school districts in both states are among those closed, including districts in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Even the fabled "frozen tundra" of Lambeau Field, home to the NFL's Green Bay Packers, wasn't able to withstand the heavy snow and blustery winds that closed hundreds of businesses, schools and government offices in Wisconsin.

Pastelok anticipates the harsh cold to ease somewhat across the eastern half of the US during the first weekend of February. More than 200 flights at Chicago's Midway International Airport were canceled, but only about seven flights were delayed. Freezing temperatures, though not as severe as those in the interior, and snow were forecast in New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and New England.

The weather service says the Rockford area could get colder than the record low of minus 27 degrees (negative 32.8 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday.

In eastern North Dakota, officials have issued travel alerts because of blowing snow. The county's courts and nonessential services will be closed Monday.

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