Polar Vortex Set to Drop Arctic-Cold Temperatures on Chicago, Minneapolis

January 30, 2019, 12:51 AM UTC

The polar vortex that’s sending a blast of extreme arctic cold air down to the Midwest this week is likely to leave Chicago residents feeling like they living in some of the coldest places on Earth, including the South Pole and Mt. Everest.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Chicago is forecast to fall to negative 24 degrees Tuesday night and 26 degrees below zero on Wednesday night. The wind chill could make the Windy City feel as cold as 51 degrees below zero.

The forecast low temperature will probably break the record for lowest temperature ever recorded in Chicago: minus 27 degrees reached on Jan. 20, 1985.

Other cities in the Midwest will be even colder. Weather.com says that Minneapolis, MN, will see a low of minus 31 Thursday morning, while International Falls, MN, will reach as low as minus 37.

The Midwest’s temperatures are forecast to be colder than the base camp of Mt. Everest, which according to CBS Chicago will be around 30 degrees (although temperatures at higher elevations could be much colder).

Chicago’s high will also be below that of points in the Arctic Circle. Utqiagvik, Alaska (formerly known as Barrow), the northernmost point in the U.S., will reach 7 below zero, according to CBS, while Zackenberg Station, Greenland, will be, compared to Chicago, a relatively balmy 11 below zero.