In case you haven’t heard, it is very cold in the Midwest.A historic polar vortex has sent temperatures plunging well below zero along with record-breaking wind chills. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Minneapolis reached minus 28 degrees, while Chicago hit minus 21 degrees.Schools have closed, cities have shut down, and even the Postal Service said it wouldn’t deliver mail in some areas to protect their employees.People enduring the frigid temperatures have been using hashtags like #Chiberia — a combination of Chicago and Siberia — to share what it’s like under such harsh conditions.So just how cold is it? We turned to social media to find out:It is WARMER in Antarctica and IcelandHow Chicago got Antarctica beat? How? #Chiberiapic.twitter.com/gvoovosi5z— Akire Llah (@Beanyy) January 30, 2019Well…here’s something you don’t see everyday. #PolarVortex#Chiberiapic.twitter.com/LPU0j0mTqJ— SourceOne Events (@SourceOneEvents) January 30, 2019Meanwhile, the current temperature in Reykjavik, according to The Weather Channel: 21 degrees. It’s borderline tropical.Boiling water is freezing in midairIt’s common whenever temperatures dip well past zero: people grab a cup or pot of boiling water to toss outside and see what happens. In the case of many people in the Midwest, it almost instantly turns into an icy mist.Update: I did the boiling water thing and it really works lol #Chiberiapic.twitter.com/vLzd10hVL4— Aroldo Briones Jr (@Dough_B17) January 30, 2019Boiling water freezes before it hits the ground. -22/-49 windchill in Chicago. #Chicago#Jaden#chiberiapic.twitter.com/UPYVjloGBk— clay carroll (@Clay_Carroll) January 30, 2019If cups or pots aren’t your thing, you can always step up your game and use a Super Soaker.CLOSE
Journal Sentinel photographer Mike De Sisti demonstrates how boiling water reacts to the cold when tossed in the air and shot through a Super Soaker.
Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal SentinelCans of soda and beer explodeWhat happens when you take liquids that expand in freezing temperatures and place them in a high-pressure container like a can? They explode. There’s a reason it’s on the list of things you should never keep in your car during cold weather.CLOSE
See how the recent extreme cold explodes cans of soda and beer.
Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal SentinelFrost develops on door knobs from the insideSome Twitter users posted images of doors from the inside developing frost on the knobs or handles.That’s frost on the door knob. INSIDE the house. Yikes, stay warm everybody. pic.twitter.com/n2BabtFIUP— (((Mike McElwee))) (@MJMcElwee) January 30, 2019Officials are setting fire to train tracksThe Chicago Tribune reports the city is attempting to keep commuter rail tracks operational by setting them on fire. The report said snow and ice clog switches on the tracks, so transit officials use a gas-fed system running adjacent to keep the switches from freezing.With temperatures near -20 degrees in Chicago, railroad crews are setting tracks on fire to keep trains moving. https://t.co/tk9G3Gl1D9pic.twitter.com/0aYsdGd5Wm— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 30, 2019The Chicago River is ‘smoking’Because temperatures in the water are warmer than the air, the Chicago River is displaying a smoky effect where steam is seen rising from the water. It’s often referred to as “steam fog” or “sea smoke.”Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/01/30/cold-weather-midwest-turns-social-media-show-low-temperatures/2720817002/