In case you haven’t heard, it is very cold in the Midwest.
A historic polar vortex has sent temperatures plunging well below zero along with record-breaking wind chills. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Minneapolis reached minus 28 degrees, while Chicago hit minus 21 degrees.
Schools have closed, cities have shut down, and even the Postal Service said it wouldn’t deliver mail in some areas to protect their employees.
People enduring the frigid temperatures have been using hashtags like #Chiberia — a combination of Chicago and Siberia — to share what it’s like under such harsh conditions.
So just how cold is it? We turned to social media to find out:
It is WARMER in Antarctica and Iceland
Meanwhile, the current temperature in Reykjavik, according to The Weather Channel: 21 degrees. It’s borderline tropical.
Boiling water is freezing in midair
It’s common whenever temperatures dip well past zero: people grab a cup or pot of boiling water to toss outside and see what happens. In the case of many people in the Midwest, it almost instantly turns into an icy mist.
If cups or pots aren’t your thing, you can always step up your game and use a Super Soaker.
Cans of soda and beer explode
What happens when you take liquids that expand in freezing temperatures and place them in a high-pressure container like a can? They explode. There’s a reason it’s on the list of things you should never keep in your car during cold weather.
Frost develops on door knobs from the inside
Some Twitter users posted images of doors from the inside developing frost on the knobs or handles.
Officials are setting fire to train tracks
The Chicago Tribune reports the city is attempting to keep commuter rail tracks operational by setting them on fire. The report said snow and ice clog switches on the tracks, so transit officials use a gas-fed system running adjacent to keep the switches from freezing.
The Chicago River is ‘smoking’
Because temperatures in the water are warmer than the air, the Chicago River is displaying a smoky effect where steam is seen rising from the water. It’s often referred to as “steam fog” or “sea smoke.”
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.