On Wednesday, a polar vortex brought bitter cold to the Midwest. Overnight, Chicago reached a low of 21 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, making it slightly colder than Antarctica, Alaska, and the North Pole. Wind chills were 64 degrees below zero in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and 45 degrees below zero in Buffalo, North Dakota, according to the National Weather Service. Schools, restaurants, and businesses closed, and more than 1,000 flights have been canceled.
Even the United States Postal Service stalled mail delivery, temporarily. “Due to this arctic outbreak and concerns for the safety of USPS employees,” USPS announced Wednesday morning, “the Postal Service is suspending delivery Jan. 30 in the following 3-digit ZIP Code locations.” Twelve regions were listedas unsafe on Wednesday; on Thursday, eight remained.