As three-quarters of the US population faces life-threatening sub-zero temperatures, the Internet is alight with photos showing just how f**king frigid the #PolarVortex2019 really is. It’s so cold, in fact, that Americans were told to not “take a deep breath when outside” following warnings of temperatures dipping below -40°C across many states.
“It’s painfully cold out there, and I mean that literally – any exposed skin instantly begins to sting,” Chicago resident Chloe Meeks told IFLScience. “Being the Windy City, the strong winds make your eyes burn and water. I closed my eyes and my lashes froze together. It’s no better for the dogs either – my doodle is not amused by all of this!”
Residents of the newly dubbed #Chiberia are among the thousands of social media mavens who have taken to the Internet in a hilarious attempt to let the rest of the world in on their suffering.
“Most businesses closed on Wednesday, which meant severe coffee deprivation, but we made it through,” said Meeks, citing the importance of keeping employees home for their safety.
Allie Hubert, another Chicago resident, told IFLScience that the frost is literally seeping through the cracks in the doors and windows of her apartment after her pipes burst.
“I wore my own sets of insane layers to go outside: Smartwool onesie, fleece onesie on top, boots, an 800 fill down puffy mid-layer, an 800 fill down parka, a hat, two pairs of gloves, and a scarf,” said Hubert. “I lasted [outside] for about four minutes.”
Originally from Alaska, PhD candidate Hayley Whitson now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She says this year's Polar Vortex is "super shocking" and on par with conditions she has experienced in her home state.
"Whenever I walk outside, my nose hairs freeze, which is a strange and uncomfortable feeling!" said Whitson, saying that many local businesses and her university were also closed.
The whole lake effect thing is cool looking and all, but seriously eff that cold.
The end very well may be nearer than we think.
No joke, the Great Lakes have frozen over.