Polar vortex linked to at least 6 deaths as life-threatening cold continues

At least six deaths have been reported in the U.S. as the deadly polar vortex with frigid Arctic winds slammed the Midwest and headed east on Wednesday.

The polar vortex has caused temperatures to drop much farther south than usual, with temperatures in certain areas of the Midwest comparable or below those in Antarctica, where the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station hit minus 25 degrees.

The city of Chicago — where it reached a record-breaking minus 22 degrees around 6 a.m. Wednesday — saw temperatures still dropping after the National Weather Service (NWS) recorded a low of minus 19 degrees. With strong winds, wind chill temperatures reached a range of minus 45 to minus 55 degrees.

Cities like Ponsford, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota, saw wind chill temperatures of minus 66 degrees and minus 31 degrees, respectively.

"A record arctic air mass will remain over the central and eastern U.S. over the next several days," the NWS warned Tuesday. "Wind chill values of 30 to 60 degrees below zero will be common across the northern Plains, Great Lakes, and upper Midwest."

While the cold snap is causing travel disruptions throughout the region, the Midwest isn't the only area of the U.S. experiencing dangerous winter conditions.