'Polar Vortex' Pushes Subzero Temps Into Midwest - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

'Polar Vortex' Pushes Subzero Temps Into Midwest

Posted: Updated:

A whirlpool of frigid, dense air known as a "polar vortex" is descending into much of the U.S., pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold that could break decades-old records.
 
For a big chunk of the Midwest, the subzero temperatures are following heavy snow and high winds. Officials have closed schools in cities including Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee and warned residents to stay indoors and avoid the frigid cold altogether.
 
The forecast is extreme: 32 below zero in Fargo, N.D.; minus 21 in Madison, Wis.; and 15 below zero in Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Chicago.
 
Wind chills could drop into the minus 50s and 60s.
 
It hasn't been this cold for almost two decades in many parts of the country.

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is reporting no major delays at the time of this writing, but airport representatives say call ahead to get the latest information on your flight. You can also go to www.renoairport.com.

Also, if you are picking someone up at an area airport, you're urged to call your specific airline to make sure it is still arriving. 

In downtown Chicago, a commuter train hit a "bumping post" as it pulled into a station, the second such accident of the day. Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said six passengers were taken to a hospital with minor injuries Monday after the train hit the post at the end of a platform. A less serious incident occurred at the same station around 6:15 a.m., but no passengers were injured.

Continuing a decades-old practice, Chicago Transit Authority was handing out fare cards to social service agencies to be distributed to the homeless so they could ride buses and trains to stay out of the cold.

More than 40,000 homes and businesses in Indiana, 16,000 in Illinois and 2,000 in Missouri were without power early Monday. Indianapolis spokesman Marc Lotter said emergency crews accompanied about 350 people to shelters around the city.

Southern states were bracing for possible record temperatures too, with single-digit highs expected Tuesday in Georgia and Alabama.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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