The phenomenon was popularised during the cold North American winter of 2014, but affects areas of Europe, and Asia as well, with notable cold bursts reported in North America in 1977, 1982, 1985 and 1989, according to the National Weather Service.
"That's quite risky. You're talking about frostbite and hypothermia issues very quickly, like in a matter of minutes, maybe seconds", Hurley said.
The National Weather Service said a "potentially record-breaking push" of Arctic air will bring wind chills as low as minus 40 degrees to the Northern Plains and Great Lakes areas by Wednesday. The biggest issue will be the wind chill.
"The core of the cold will be in the Great Lakes, where numerous temperature records will be threatened", forecasters said.
Chicago, North Dakota, Minnesota, New York, Philadelphia, and more major cities are told to anticipate the huge temperature drop. That will occur in the wake of the winter storm that may lay a swath of disruptive snow from the Midwest, Chicago included, to a part of the Northeast early next week.
Heavy snow has led to the closure of Michigan's state government, including the Capitol building and legislative offices, as a snowstorm moves across the region ahead of frigidly cold weather. The high temperature forecast at O'Hare on Wednesday is negative 14 degrees (negative 25 degrees Celsius), which would break a record set on January 18, 1994. By Tuesday morning we could be in the single digits above zero in Denver.
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Even snowplow drivers are having trouble keeping up with conditions Monday.
The cold front was expected to hit parts of the U.S Northeast as well. The largest public school districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota also were among those closed, including districts in Milwaukee and St. Paul.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said that, potentially, "more than 6 inches of snow" could fall near Fargo, North Dakota; Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago and Detroit.
Courthouses and most offices were closed in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Columbia and Washington counties, while more than three dozen flights were canceled early Monday at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee County.
"[The polar vortex] starts to wobble and spill cold air out to the south", said Jeff Weber, a meteorologist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, said to Mashable. The stadium said tours, the Packers Hall of Fame and other related businesses were closed Monday.