Temperature records were shattered across the United States on Tuesday as the polar vortex continued to take hold, with all 50 states experiencing freezing temperatures at some point in the day.
That included Hawaii, where it was -7C atop Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and across the Midwest and East, which felt temperatures colder than much of Antarctica. Over 190 million people were affected by the polar vortex by the end of the day.
New York City's Central Park broke a 118-year-old record when the temperature dropped to -15C, according to Fox News.
Hell, Michigan, quite literally froze over when temperatures dropped to -26C, although this was overshadowed by weather in Embarrass, Minnesota, where residents experienced the lowest temperature of all: -37C.
The freezing temperatures caused escaped inmate Robert Vick to hand himself back in after absconding from the minimum security Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, Kentucky.
And in Chicago, even the polar bear at the Lincoln Park zoo retreated inside as the weather dropped to a record low of -26C.
In pictures: 'Polar vortex' hits US Midwest and Northeast
In pictures: 'Polar vortex' hits US Midwest and Northeast
An AAA emergency technician assists a motorist on Bidwell Avenue in Buffalo, New York
Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a Polar Vortex in New York
A man braves the cold and walks along the shore of Lake Michigan as temperatures remain in the negative digits in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A 'polar vortex' of frigid air centered on the North Pole dropped temperatures to the negative double digits at its worst
Snow is piled high along the street outside the front of a home in Indianapolis, Indiana. A deadly blast of arctic air shattered decades-old temperature records as it enveloped the eastern United States, canceling thousands of flights, driving energy prices higher and overwhelming shelters for homeless people
Jennifer Berry watches the sunset from a lifeguard chair at a beach on Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Shortly after daybreak in the Twin Cities, thermometers had inched their way up to anywhere from 8 to 13 below zero
Ice builds up along Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, Illinois
Chicago hit a record low of -16 degree Fahrenheit this morning as a polar air mass brought the coldest temperatures in about two decades into the city
Ice builds up along Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped well below zero in Chicago, Illinois
Clouds of steam rise from the Mississippi river during -14 Degrees Fahrenheit (-25 degrees Celsius) weather, in Minneapolis, Minnesota
A view of the War Memorial in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to news reports, Indianapolis received about 30 centimeters of snow and the morning temperature was -9 degrees Celsius
A horse drinks water from a hole in a frozen water tank in Enid, Oklahoma. Record low temperatures were set in at least two Oklahoma cities as a frigid front moved into the state
Ron, a bison at Brookfield Zoo, is covered in snow and doesn't seemed phased by the frigid temperatures or snow blowing through the Chicago area. The zoo was closed due to the snowstorm and sub-zero temperatures
A woman walks through a gust of blowing snow in frigid cold temperatures though downtown Chicago, Illinois. A blast of Arctic air gripped the mid-section of the United States, bringing the coldest temperatures in two decades
Washburn High School's information board reads -14 Degrees Fahrenheit (-25 degrees Celsius), in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Schools in the area were closed due to the severe weather
Patrick O'Brien dressed up in a Spiderman superhero outfit goes for a run in -25 degrees Celsius weather, in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Snow is piled up high in front of Home Depot in the South Bay shopping center after a two day winter storm in Boston, Massachusetts
A man wears a face mask and heavy clothes while walking through downtown Springfield, in blowing and falling snow as a strong winter storm moves through the Midwest. Temperatures not seen in years are likely to set records in the coming days across the Midwest, Northeast and South, creating dangerous travel conditions and prompting church and school closures
A city snow plow clears a street of snow in an almost deserted downtown as strong winds and snow move through the Midwest in Springfield
A man prepares to remove his plow stuck in a snow bank as snow and wind swirls in St. Louis
A Delta airlines plane is seen taking off while the fleets other planes sit on the tarmac at JFK Airport, New York
Four homeless men warm themselves on a steam grate by the Federal Trade Commission, blocks from the Capitol, during frigid temperatures in Washington. A winter storm that swept across the Midwest this week blew through the Northeast, leaving bone-chilling cold in its wake
Nicholas Simmons warms himself on a steam grate with three homeless men by the Federal Trade Commission, just blocks from the Capitol, during frigid temperatures in Washington
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation employees clear out snow from Carl Schurz Park after an overnight storm dropped up to 7 inches of snow in New York City. The Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States were hit with a large amount of snowfall accompanied by blizzard-like winds and plummeting temperatures this week
A man falls while slipping on ice during freezing rain on Roosevelt Island, a borough of Manhattan in New York
A couple walks through the winter white-out on Swan Avenue in Webster Groves
Few cars drive on Interstate 44 in Fenton. Snow-covered roads and high winds were creating dangerous driving conditions from Missouri to Delaware ahead of a 'polar vortex' that'll bring below-zero temperatures not seen in years to much of the nation in the coming days
People carry bundles of warm weather wraps as they arrive outside Lambeau Field before the start of the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Joe (R) and Rick (L) Pecki wait for the gates to open outside Lambeau Field before the start of the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Temperatures are around 5 degrees (-15 C) and are expected to go lower throughout the next few days
An icy tennis ball was no deterrent for Laura Jorgensen's dog Wilber while they played in a dog park in sub-zero weather as the midwest braces for the coldest temperatures in nearly twenty years to arrive in later today in Minneapolis, Minnesota
James Schlafer and his wife Diana Schlafer of Minneapolis went for their daily four to five mile walk in sub-zero temps as the midwest braces for the coldest temperatures in nearly twenty years to arrive in later today in Minneapolis, Minnesota
With the bitter cold slowing baggage handling and aircraft refueling, airlines were forced to cancel more than 2,700 flights in the US, bringing the four-day total to more than 11,000. Over 500 passengers were stranded overnight on three Chicago-bound trains that were stopped by blowing and drifting snow in Illinois.
A video of a meteorologist Eric Holthaus went viral when he demonstrated how quickly boiling water turned to snow in temperatures of -21 in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
Across the South, records were shattered in Birmingham, Alabama, when temperatures dipped to a low of -14C, breaking the record of -11.7C set in 1970. Atlanta also saw a record low of -14.5C, 25 degrees lower than is average for this time of year.
Authorities have reported at least 21 deaths related to the cold conditions since the big freeze first began to set in on Sunday. Forecasters however have predicted temperatures will rise above freezing within the next 24 to 48 hours.Reuse content