The wandering polar vortex is about to give the Midwest and Great Lakes regions a taste of temperatures more commonly found at the North Pole, and authorities say they can't warn people strongly enough about how dangerous the weather will be. In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker says his administration is activating an emergency preparedness plan to deal with the "potentially historic winter storm that will bring extreme cold to our state," Reuters reports. He says residents will be warned about the "life-threatening conditions" set to affect the state from Tuesday to Thursday. More:
- Record-breaking cold. With temperatures set to fall as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit below average in an area stretching from the Dakotas to Missouri to New England, dozens of temperature records are expected to fall, the Washington Post reports. In Chicago, forecasters predict the temperature will fall to -29 Wednesday, two degrees below a record set in 1985. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says "all hands are on deck" and city facilities including libraries and police stations will be used as warming centers.