Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise on Wednesday.
Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise on Wednesday.
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Polar Vortex Photos Show Bone-Chilling Conditions In Midwest

The historic deep freeze has transformed the Midwest into a deadly winter wonderland.

A blast of super cold Arctic air known as a “polar vortex” is whipping through the Midwest this week, freezing over lakes and cityscapes and creating life-threatening conditions for residents.

Wind chill temperatures on Wednesday were expected to drop to as low as -60 in Minnesota and -50 degrees in Illinois, prompting school districts to cancel classes and the U.S. Postal Service to suspend deliveries in some areas.

The historic deep freeze has transformed the Midwest into a deadly winter wonderland. Check out some of the most bone-chilling photos below:

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A man walks along the shore of Lake Michigan, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Chicago.
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A pedestrian stops to take a photo by Chicago River, as a bitter cold phenomenon called the polar vortex has descended on much of the central and eastern United States, in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson via Getty Images
A commuter walks through downtown in subzero temperatures during an extremely light morning rush hour on Jan. 30, 2019 in Chicago
Scott Olson via Getty Images
Commuters pass a thermometer registering -18 degrees downtown on Jan. 30, 2019 in Chicago.
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Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Chicago.
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Geese huddle in the water as the sun rises at the harbor in Port Washington, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
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Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Chicago.
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Chicago's lakefront is covered with ice on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.
Eric Miller / Reuters
A student is dressed for subzero temperatures while walking to class at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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The city skyline is seen from the North Avenue Beach at Lake Michigan in Chicago.
Stringer . / Reuters
Icicles form on the walkway at North Avenue Beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago.
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Commuters brave the wind and snow in frigid weather, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Cincinnati.
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A commuter braves the wind and snow in frigid weather, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, in Cincinnati.