Niagara Falls partially freeze as deadly polar vortex hits the Northeast after blasting the Midwest with record-breaking -30F temperatures and leaving at least 21 dead

Friday, February 1, 2019
By Paul Martin

Breathtaking photos show Niagara Falls partially frozen by the polar vortex that has blasted the Midwest
Tourists observed large chunks of ice flowing over the tremendous volume of water on Thursday
And though some photos show what looks like frozen Falls, the water actually never stops flowing underneath
The Niagara Falls winter wonderland was caused by the polar vortex that is taking aim at the Northeast
At least 21 people have died as record-breaking low temperatures wreaked havoc across the Midwest
Painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze lingered on Thursday
Plunging temperatures continued to break historic records for a second day with lows of negative 38F
At its worst, the cold snap caused temperatures to plunge to -42F on Wednesday across the Midwest
Cold settled in over the Northeast with Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania experiencing bitter temps

DAILYMAIL.COM
1 February 2019

The polar vortex has turned Niagara Falls into a spectacular winter wonderland as it bears down on the Northeast.

Temperatures dropped to -4F in Ontario, Canada, on Thursday as tourists observed large chunks of ice flowing over the tremendous volume of water.

Ice and snow could also be seen on plants surrounding the American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil Falls.

Breathtaking images show the ice formations created by the falling water and mist along the banks of the falls and river.

Steam was seen rising up from the Falls because the water temperature is warmer than the freezing air. And though some photos show what looks like frozen solid Falls, the water actually never stops flowing.

According to Niagara Falls USA, ice forms on the river every winter. But the extent of the Falls actually freezing over depends on extreme cold weather lingering for long periods of time like the polar vortex events of 2014 and 2015, which can result in ‘frozen falls’ photos.

Earlier this month, photographers captured ghostly scenes of frozen portions around the Falls.

The polar vortex that paralyzed the Midwest has killed at least 21 people and left tens of millions of Americans shivering for a second day as temperatures plunged to record-breaking lows.

The death toll rose from a previous 13 after at least eight more people in Chicago were reported to have died from cold-related injuries, according to Stathis Poulakidas, a doctor at the city’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.

Poulakidas, a trauma specialist, said the hospital had seen about 25 frostbite victims this week. He said the most severe cases risked having fingers and toes amputated.

The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze lingered on Thursday and continued to break historic records with parts of Illinois and Iowa recording temperatures of -38F and -30F respectively.

Frigid conditions canceled more than 2,300 flights and caused more than 1,500 delays on Thursday.

Chicago’s temperature dropped to a low of around -21F on Thursday, slightly above the city’s lowest-ever reading of -27F in January 1985. Milwaukee’s low was -25F. Minneapolis recorded -24F, and wind chills were as low as -38F, an improvement from a day earlier.

Rockford, Illinois, saw a record low temperature of -31F on Thursday, while Cedar Rapids, Iowa, set a daily record low of -30F.

The extreme cold also settled in over the Northeast on Thursday. In western New York, a storm that dumped up to 20 inches of snow gave way to subzero temperatures and dangerous wind chills.

The arctic conditions caused problems from Buffalo to Brooklyn, where about 200 firefighters battling an early morning blaze in a commercial building took turns getting warm on buses.

The phenomenon caused surreal scenes throughout the region, including Lake Michigan freezing over and blocks of ice covering the river in downtown Chicago.

NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument (below) captured the polar vortex as it moved southward from central Canada into the Midwest from January 20 the 29th, with the purple showing the vortex at its coldest..

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