Over 1500 flights have been canceled at Chicago-area airports, including O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW), as of the morning (local time) of Wednesday, January 30, due to extremely cold temperatures. High temperatures of -28°C (-20°F) to -23°C (-10°F) are forecast for the Chicago area on Wednesday, with wind chills ranging from -45°C (-50°F) to -37°C (-35°F). Lingering flight disruptions (e.g. delays and cancelations) and other transportation and business disruptions are likely over the coming hours and days.
The extreme temperatures are caused by low-pressure system of arctic air that sometimes travels south, in an event commonly known as a "polar vortex." Officials recorded lows of -26°C (-16°F) in Chicago (Illinois) and -27°C (-18°F) in Green Bay (Wisconsin) during the so-called Polar Vortex of 2014.
Individuals in Chicago are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions (e.g. flight delays and cancelations, icy roads, limited visibility), confirm flight reservations, refrain from unnecessary travel, and keep sufficient food, water, and warm clothing if driving.
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