Deaths

By the numbers: Polar vortex cold snap sets records, kills at least 9

Man walks along ice in Chicago.
A man walks on the ice-covered break-wall along Lake Michigan in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Cities across the Midwest and Northeast U.S. set new record low temperatures Wednesday and Thursday morning as a once-in-a-generation cold snap swept through the U.S. The frigid conditions have been linked to at least nine deaths already.

The big picture: An air mass that originated in the High Arctic is sweeping through the U.S., but even though temperatures are expected to start easing this afternoon and be above freezing this weekend in parts of the Midwest, this is likely not the last time this kind of sudden cold snap could affect large portions of the nation. Recent studies show climate change could cause more southward jogs of the polar vortex in the future.

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