Siberian Express: Polar vortex winds from Russia leave up to 185 million Americans shivering

Officials have issued safety warning as temperatures reach lows not seen for decades

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Millions of people across the eastern and northern United States have been jolted by freezing weather that is set to get colder yet.

From icy blasts in Ohio to numbing winds in New England, Americans have been experiencing first-hand the impact of freezing winds that originated in Russia. The name given to the icy blasts? The Siberian Express.

“The frigid air in the US comes courtesy of the Siberian Express. It's cold Arctic air from northern Russia,” meteorologist Mike Bettes told NBC News. “It’s traveling 5,000 miles over the North Pole, over cold snow pack, and going all the way as far south as the Gulf Coast.”


The air has reached as far as the Tennessee Valley and Kentucky, which have already recorded temperatures not seen for a century. Chicago is seeing its coldest February since 1875. It also experienced its lowest temperature since 1936 as the mercury tumbled to -21C.


Experts have said record low temperatures could be experienced in Washington DC, Boston and New York City on Friday. The states of Maine and New Hampshire are forecast to receive more than six inches of snow by Saturday.

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Washington has experienced unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall

The air responsible for the shift has been traveling in from Siberia, over the North Pole and down into North America over the past week.